C40 Cities Zachary Tofias on how a network of the world’s megacities is addressing climate change

The C40 network consists of 97 cities representing 700+ million citizens and one quarter of the global economy. The mayors of these cities are committed to delivering on the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement at the local level and C40 supports them in collaborating effectively, sharing knowledge and driving meaningful, measurable and sustainable action on climate change.

In today’s episode, I speak with Zachary Tofias who serves as the Director of the Food and Waste Program at C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. We discuss the ins and outs of how C40 works, the power of cities to create change, why networks matter, how to spread good ideas, and examples of how cities are taking bold climate action.

  • 2:30 What C40 is and how it works
  • 7:40 Why cities can have big food system impact
  • 11:15 How good ideas spread across cities
  • 30:00 The big opportunity around food systems
  • 36:00 How to establish a network

Share your feedback and thoughts or discover new episodes on Instagram @nordicfoodtech.

Posted in: Finland Sweden

Paulig Group's investment arm on the future of taste

My guest today is Marika King who is the Head of PINC, Paulig Group’s corporate venture capital arm, which is focused on investing in the future of taste. Paulig is a house of brands with a presence in 13 European countries, a turnover of almost 1 billion euros, and around 2,000 employees. Headquartered in Finland, its portfolio consists of Santa Maria, Risenta, Gold & Green, and PocoLoco along with Paulig coffee. PINC stands for Paulig Incubator and was launched in 2018. In this episode, we discuss how PINC is helping Paulig to invest in future innovations while contributing to a tastier, healthier, and more sustainable planet.

  • 6:10 How Paulig’s corporate venture capital arm works
  • 10:00 The future of taste and how PINC looks at radical innovation
  • 13:30 Due diligence and what PINC expects to see from startups
  • 33:00 Vision for the future of food in 10-15 years
  • 48:00 Tips for fundraising and valuating your company

This month, we are hosting a feedback competition. If you fill out this form, you will be entered in a lottery to win a $200 gift certificate to the bar or restaurant of your choice OR an hour of coaching / consulting with your host. Enter here.

Posted in: Finland

Nordic FoodTech VC's Lauri Reuter on the Nordic's first food focused venture capital fund

Lauri Reuter is a scientist-turned-investor and a founder and partner of the Nordic Foodtech VC, which invests explicitly in Nordic and Baltic early-stage tech companies that are renewing the global food system. Lauri holds a Ph.D. in biotechnology and worked previously as a Researcher and Senior Specialist of Disruptive Technologies at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. He is a part-time urban beekeeper and passionate about building a radically sustainable food system for this planet – and the next one. 

  • 1:50 Fund backstory and investment thesis
  • 11:30 Commercializing research-based technology
  • 21:10 The ideal food portfolio 10 years from now
  • 30:00 Funding gaps and opportunities for Nordic food startups
  • 41:30 Lauri’s vision for the future food system 

Connect with the show’s Host Analisa Winther on LinkedIn. For more conversations, join our community on Instagram or check out other episodes on www.nordicfoodtech.io.

Posted in: Finland

K Group’s Heidi Jungar on sustainability in grocery retail

K Group is the 2nd biggest grocery retailer in the Finnish market. They’ve been celebrated for being the most sustainable trading sector company in the world by World Economic Forum and are the only Finnish company to have made it on the list every year since 2005.

Despite this achievement, K Group has struggled to communicate the responsibility they’ve taken around their business practices to consumers. In this conversation, we speak with Customer Insight Director Heidi Jungar to explore how Kesko has approached this challenge including what sustainability in retail means to them, how they are taking responsibility, and what grocery shopping will look like in the future. 

  • 11:00 K Group’s sustainability and conservation programs
  • 14:25 Insights around what drives consumer buying decisions towards sustainability 
  • 19:10 How K Group gives customers their data back 
  • 21:10 K Group’s vision for the future grocery store
  • 36:00 Vision for future food system

ReGeneration 2030's Emil Vincentz on the youth's vision for our future food system

Emil Vincentz started his climate activism as a 12 year old. Today he is in his 20s and a member of Regeneration 2030, a movement led by teenagers and young adults in the Nordic and Baltic Sea Regions focused on making the United Nation’s sustainable development goals a reality. He is also the founder of Symplistic, a company helping private and public organizations implement concrete solutions on environmental sustainability.

At the Nordic COP25 in Stockholm, ReGeneration 2030 will be presenting their views on the future of the food system. Join us as Emil and I discuss what actions ReGeneration 2030 is calling for from policy makers, what it’s like to be a young person advocating for the future today, and ways to champion the next generation.

  • 6:00 An inside look into youth climate activism
  • 18:30 Key issues talked about in Emil’s circle (it might surprise you) 
  • 20:50 Actions for policymakers and vision for the future
  • 32:30 How you should engage youth in your community
  • 38:25 The role of parents and what it means to be a good ancestor 

This episode is part of Taste the Transition, a series of lunch conversations during the COP25 climate negotiations highlighting individuals taking climate action through food. Tell us your vision for the food system on www.nordicfoodtech.io/answer or by using the hashtag #NordicClimateAction

Nordic Food Policy Lab’s Marie Persson on taking climate action through food

The Nordic Food Policy Lab was launched by the 5 prime ministers of the Nordic countries in 2017 to curate and share examples of Nordic food policy for health and sustainability. They do this through global partnerships and dialogues. Their goal is meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals through food policy. They also help other countries in achieving the goals.

In this episode, Marie Persson provides an overview of what is happening within food policy across the Nordics. We also take a look at the COP25 UN climate negotiations from a Nordic angle and what a sustainable, healthy diet looks like.

  • 7:30 Overview of the Nordics strengths and weaknesses when it comes to food & food policy
  • 9:40 Why food is such a tricky political conversation
  • 16:30 Examples of individuals taking climate action through food
  • 20:20 What is needed for policy to encourage sustainable production and consumption
  • 25:35 Why more chefs and behavioral psychologists are needed in politics

This episode is part of Taste the Transition, a series of lunch conversations during the COP25 climate negotiations highlighting individuals taking climate action through food. Tell us your vision for the food system on www.nordicfoodtech.io/answer or by using the hashtag #NordicClimateAction

Posted in: Finland

Arla Digital’s Tomi Sirén on using tech to drive FMCG’s sustainability agenda forward

Arla is the 5th largest dairy company in the world. Owned by 12,500 farmers across seven countries, they have an ambition to become the most transparent value chain in dairy.

In today’s episode, we discuss this ambition with Tomi Sirén who is the head of Digital and Technological Innovations at Arla. Based in Finalnd, he’s spearheading a variety of projects focused on moving their sustainability agenda forward with emerging technologies including the Arla Milkchain. Listen in as we talk about:

  • 5:30 Arla’s digital transformation
  • 9:00 Arla Milkchain – how they are using blockchain to trace their products and animal welfare (see video)
  • 21:00 Collaborations Arla is looking for and what obstacles they are facing to scale
  • 26:00 Other sustainability projects at Arla
  • 28:40 Vision for the future and what we’re missing to get there