CRFS Lab description

Seinäjoki CRFS Living Labs promotes the children’s healthy food and diets but also inclusion.

 The primary objective of the CRFS Lab are:
  • Tackling  the problem of unhealthy snacks in children’s sport hobbies.
  • Finding better solutions to encourage children and the youth to eat the free warm school lunches.
  • Innovating new ways to encourage youngsters to get involved in food business and food sector.
  • Finding new platforms to make inclusive food education. 
The primary solutions to tackle these challanges are:
  • Promoting the branded kiosk “Mahtikiska”, in which only healthy and tasty snacks are sold
  • Finding better social and physical solutions to the school canteens.
  • Inventing a way for the youngsters to make small scale food business of their own withing the school environment.
  • Transfering the already used methods of children’s food education to new environments.

The Living Lab Team

  • Niina Koskipalo (P12 INTO)
  • Terhi Välisalo (P13 AGRIA)
  • Asta Asunmaa (P13 AGRIA)



Seinäjoki, the capital of Finland’s Food Province (South Ostrobothnia), plays a pivotal role in food production and processing. The city’s food system is characterized by its diversity, extensive expertise, and a rich history of collaboration. The region’s river valleys offer favorable conditions for northern farming, though the climate presents both challenges and advantages. The ample summer daylight and winter frost reduce the need for plant protection agents. Seinäjoki and the Food Province rely heavily on the success of the food sector. Nearly 40% of Seinäjoki’s businesses are in the food industry, with 20% of the local workforce employed in this sector. The development of the food sector is a central focus in regional and city strategies. Seinäjoki has implemented a unique model, “The Healthy Kids of Seinäjoki,” which promotes cross-sector collaboration within the city organization to address key challenges.

The City of Seinäjoki is the capital of the Food Province of Finland (South Ostrobothnia). Seinäjoki is located in the Western Finland about 400 km south of the Arctic Circle. The landscape of Seinäjoki is the landscape of food production: it is known of its vast open flat fields and the feeling of space. The population of Seinäjoki is 65.000 and the area if 1500 km2. The entire province has a population of 190.000 and the land area is 14.000 km2.

The river valleys in the region offer favorable conditions for farming in the northern area. While the climate poses challenges for food production, it also offers advantages such as longer daylight hours in the summer and frost during winters, reducing the need for plant protection. The climate is both harsh and mild due to the influence of nearby seas. Some areas are suitable only for growing grass, resulting in significant milk and beef production.

The city’s food system excels in diversity, expertise, and a longstanding tradition of collaboration. Seinäjoki has been recognized multiple times as the most entrepreneur-friendly city in Finland. Despite the absence of a university, a collaborative effort has established a university center hosting professors and research teams from four different universities. This fosters high-quality research accessible to local food companies. Moreover, the region is renowned for its people’s determined and resourceful approach to achieving success.

The City of Seinäjoki and the Food Province is highly depended on the success of the food sector. Almost 40 % of the City of Seinäjoki’s companies are in food business and 20 % of the labour in the area is working in the food sector.

In most important strategies involving the region or the City of Seinäjoki, the food sector’s development is one of the most important target areas. For example the strategy of the EU Rural funds places the Food Province development in its first aim. The City of Seinäjoki has a special working model “The Healthy Kids of Seinäjoki” that crosses the borders of the different sectors in the city organization. The model has gotten international attention. The Healthy Kids of Seinäjoki model provides a platform, in which the living lab actions made in this project can continue spreading and developing.

Cities2030 partner organizations participating in the Seinäjoki CRFS Lab:

Within the framework of Cities2030, the project activities directly linked to supporting the pilot area, The Seinäjoki region, are mutually coordinated by two organizations:

Into Seinäjoki (INTO, P12) is the developing company of the City of Seinäjoki. One of the most important areas of development work is the Food sector.

ProAgria Etelä-Pohjanmaa/Rural Women’s Advisory Center (AGRIA, P13) is an advisory organisation of agriculture and home economics, especially food. The organization has a history of 160 years.