“Food is important, and that is why we want to make sure that everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, gets to eat well.”

Tuomas Nurmela Writer: Tuomas Nurmela
Tuomas Nurmela is responsible for Fazer Food Services Finland’s public-sector customer relationships. Tuomas firmly believes that a thriving partnership between a foodservices provider and client can guarantee the right and the opportunity to eat well at every age.

Food is something that’s close to everyone’s heart. One person remembers their favourite food in school, another what they hated the most, and another is concerned about the healthiness of the meals served to their children or elderly parents. Food is important, and that is why we at Fazer want to make sure that everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, gets to eat well.

We believe that we will achieve the best result for municipalities, hospital districts and future provinces by being a partner. Responsible partnership is built on a relationship of trust in which even difficult questions can be asked and answered, and in which both parties make responsible, sustainable choices.

It is of high importance to take our customers’ wishes into account in our development work. Future school meals are developed based on feedback from students and teachers, and we will work with the social and healthcare services in Finland to determine the most suitable foods for senior citizens. In other words, customers are involved in influencing our recipes and selections, in the process helping to make each and every restaurant just right for the people it serves.

Responsible and sustainable choices are also concrete things for us. We are for example committed to using domestic meat, as well as following WWF recommendations conforming fish and domestic dairy products. In addition, we have systematically increased the share of vegetables and vegetarian dishes served in our restaurants. We want to ensure that both our customers and restaurant customers, as well as those close to them, do not need to worry about the quality of food, and can rest assured that all nutritional recommendations are met. We take care of this on their behalf.

We care what parents, relatives and municipal decision-makers think

Concern for the wellbeing of both children and the elderly is shared by parents, relatives and decision-makers.

And to gain a better understanding of future needs and people’s expectations and topics for discussion, in early 2018, we surveyed the views of the parents and guardians of school children and care-takers of senior citizens. In a separate survey carried out at the same time, we examined the views of municipal decision-makers on the same topics.

Overall, the respondents felt that food for schoolchildren must have enough energy to keep them going throughout the school day, and must be nutritious to support their learning. In addition, nutritious and tasty food makes it possible to experiment with new flavours, strengthens the social dimension of food and eating, and thereby supports schools in teaching the young about healthy eating.

Both studies highlighted the need for dialogue between food service organisers, service providers, customers, and their parents, guardians or carers.

The need for discussion

True partnership is not possible to attain without open and broad-minded discussion. We believe that by opening the channels of discussion, we can improve our work even further. We do what we can to foster dialogue in many ways, such as by being present in different fora and drawing on research to guide discussion.

We regularly meet decision-makers and officials throughout our operating countries. Our goal is to strengthen partnerships to help us ensure that people of all ages can eat well, as is their right.