The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has granted this year's public health award to HK Ruokatalo for the nationally significant promotion of public health. The award was received by HKScan Group CEO Hannu Kottonen at the IX national public health event in Helsinki on 23 November 2012.
THL says that the annual award highlights national health acts or work in the promotion of Finnish public health. HK Ruokatalo Oy received the award thanks to the work it has done to reduce salt and saturated (hard) fat in its products in recent years.
"The fact that the company has changed its products in accordance with nutritional recommendations has been good for the hearts of Finns and for the entire area of public health. For public health, it is much more important that a major company has reduced hard fat and salt to a considerable extent in popular products that are consumed throughout Finland, than develop functional foods which are more expensive and which are only consumed by a small group. It is also important that the use of rapeseed oil has started for animal feeding, which is one of the background elements for product development ", says Pekka Puska, Director General of THL.
HK's input in nutritional matters
HK Ruokatalo pays attention to nutritional matters. Since 2007, product development has adhered to increasingly strict nutritional criteria. Long-term reduction of salt and improving the quality of fat are measures related to healthy products. HK Ruokatalo's salt reduction in products last year amounted to about 60 000 kg compared to the level of 2007. HK Rypsiporsas® reduced more than 100 000 kg of hard fat from the plates of Finns during 2011.
Products account for nutritional recommendations
HK Ruokatalo has introduced new, revolutionary products, such as the HK Via convenience food series. HK Ruokatalo also made daily consumer choices easier in compiling a well-balanced diet by being the first food company in Finland to introduce GDA markings. Developed by the CIAA, the GDA (Guideline Daily Amount) is a way of specifying the nutritional content of one portion of food, and its share in a percentage of suggested daily consumption.
HK Ruokatalo's product range has also been expanded through Sydänmerkki products. Sydänmerkki (heart symbol) indicates that the product is nutritionally a better choice in its product group with regard to fat quality, quantity and the amount of salt. HK Ruokatalo's product range already has more than one hundred Sydänmerkki products. As of the end of 2012, the Finnish Diabetes and Heart Association has already granted the Sydänmerkki symbol to 59 HK Ruokatalo consumer trade products. The HK Pro product range has 54 Sydänmerkki products. HK Ruokatalo has also contributed to the development of recipes for Sydänmerkki meals.
HK Rypsiporsas® a unique Finnish innovation
In February 2011, HK Ruokatalo introduced HK Rypsiporsas® rapeseed pork meat, which
was launched last September in retail stores in Sweden as "Svensk Rapsgris".
HK Rypsiporsas ® is the result of extensive research.
Finnish Rypsiporsas ® farms are carefully selected, and they adhere to a specific feeding scheme.
In addition to Finnish grain, rapeseed-fed pigs also eat rapeseed oil, which naturally improves the quality of fat in meat.
Consumer tests show that Rypsiporsas ® meat is tastier and more tender than regular pork.
HK Rypsiporsas® has contributed to improving the healthy image of pork, and its sales in Finland. For more about HK Rypsiporsas® : http://www.tiesydameen.fi/rypsiporsas (in Finnish only).
The award granted by THL is annual recognition for activity in the promotion of public health
THL says that the award is recognition for nationally significant work in the promotion of public health. The award can be granted annually to an individual, organisation, company or a research and development project. The award is an annually selected Finnish work of art, handed over at the national public health day. The award is decided on by the Director General of THL.
"This is a very important recognition for our company. For many years now, HK Ruokatalo has systematically worked to reduce salt and to improve the quality of fat in the company's products, while providing good taste. Naturally, the recognition is the highlight of the year on the farms included in the scheme, and also in the company's production, product development, distribution, sales and marketing, and for all the thousands of people there. I'm happy and proud of the recognition and I know that it encourages us to continue our valuable and responsible work in the promotion of public health," says Hannu Kottonen, CEO of HKScan.
For more details, please contact:
Hannu Kottonen, CEO of HKScan Corporation, tel. +358 10 570 100
HK Ruokatalo Oy, Soile Käkönen, Nutritional Expert, tel. +358 10 570 100, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marja Siltala, Communications Manager of HKScan Corporation, tel. +358 10 570 100, email@example.com
HK Ruokatalo is part of HKScan Group. HKScan is one of the leading food companies in northern Europe, with home markets in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Baltic countries and Poland. HKScan manufactures, sells and markets pork and beef, poultry products, processed meats and convenience foods under strong brand names. Its customers are the retail, food service, industrial and export sectors.
In 2011, it had net sales of EUR 2.5 billion and some 11 400 employees.