Food Days 17.-19.9.2024 – PROGRAM

We bring together food chain innovators to the best place for food business, to discuss how to sustainably grow in the food sector.

During the Food Days the spotlight will be on innovative and international food chain development that enables sustainable growth in the industry. We offer fruitful encounters and frank discussions around the theme of sustainable future of food and showcase the strong expertise of Seinäjoki region.

Check the program for each event day from below. Program is subject to changes and fine tuning.

The event program is FREE, excluding optional but amazing multisensory dinner on Wednesday evening (52 euros + VAT.).



Food Days VIP Dinner, Maistiaisia huomisesta – ruoka-alan trendit ja visiot

Foorumi kestävän ruokaekosysteemin puolesta

Ensimmäistä kertaa järjestettävä ”Maistiaisia huomisesta: Ruoka-alan trendit ja visiot” teemainen foorumi ja kutsuvierasillallinen kerää yhteen julkisia sekä yksityisiä toimijoita keskustelemaan alan tulevaisuudesta, kestävästä kehittämisestä sekä kilpailukyvyn vahvistamisesta. Tilaisuus starttaa Food Days -kokonaisuuden vuodelle 2024.

Kyseessä on kutsuvierastilaisuus. Tapahtuman järjestelyistä vastaavat Seinäjoen kaupunki, Into Seinäjoki Oy, Etelä-Pohjanmaan liitto, SeAMK ja Foodwest Oy.


MORNING SESSION 9.00-12.00 – Food and Entrepreneurship – What is the Way Forward?

This session – made up of national and international speakers – will approach the topic of food entrepreneurship from different angles and disciplines: among them ethics and food  culture will play a central role. Also the role that research and food companies can play in shaping sustainable food systems will be discussed.

Aims of the session will be to bring about topics normally neglected in current discourses on entrepreneurship and analyse their impact on the current and future food scenarios.

This session is arranged by University of Helsinki Ruralia Institute and it will be in English.



9.00-9.15: Welcome to Food Days

Sami Kurki (University of Helsinki Ruralia Institute), Leena Perämäki (Into Seinäjoki) and Jaakko Hallila (SeAMK)

9.15-9.20: Introduction – Jaakko Kiiskilä, Mayor of Seinäjoki

9.20-9.40: Every Meal is a Sacrament – Mickey Gjerris, Associate Professor in Bioethics, University of Copenhagen

9.40-10.00: Food with Integrity – Mari Kooskora, Head of the EBS Centre for Business Ethics, Associate Professor

10.00-10.20: Asmus Gamdrup Jensen, Food Historian, Kost Studio

10.20- 10.30: Q&A Session

10.30-10.45 BREAK

10.45-11.25: Panel: What Does the Future of the Food Industry Look Like?

Merja Leino (Atria), Nélida Leiva Eriksson (Ironic Biotech), Tuure Parviainen (Volare) and Laura Forsman (Viikki Food Design Factory). Moderator: Terhi Välisalo (Pro Agria, Maa- ja kotitalousnaiset)

11.25-12.00: Panel: Universities and Food Companies – Two Unmatching Realities?

Mari Sandell (University of Helsinki), Michiru Nagatsu (University of Helsinki), Anu Hopia (University of Turku) and Harri Luomala (University of Vaasa). Moderator: Sami Kurki (University of Helsinki Ruralia Institute).

12.00-13.00 – Lunch at Restaurant Varicko


DAY SESSION 13.00-15.00 – Yhdessä enemmän – yhteiskehittämisellä kasvuun

Yhdessä Enemmän – yhteiskehittämisellä kasvuun -iltapäiväsessiossa tutustutaan Valion Food 2.0 -veturihankkeen viitoittamana yhteiskehittämisen mahdollisuuksiin niin yrityksille kuin TKI-toimijoillekin. Business Finlandin rahoittaman veturihankkeen tavoitteiden ja työpakettien esittelyn lisäksi ideoidaan ratkaisuja kuhunkin teemaan.

Tilaisuus tarjoaa alustan yhteistyömahdollisuuksien avaamiseen Valion ja muiden osallistujien kanssa. Ryhmäkeskusteluja ja innovointia fasilitoimassa alueen TKI-organisaatioiden edustajia.

Session järjestelyistä vastaa Into Seinäjoki Oy yhteistyössä Foodwest Oy:n kanssa ja se toteutetaan suomenkielisenä.

  • Valio 2.0 ohjelman esittely, Veera Virtanen, Valio
  • Yhteiskehittämisen mahdollisuuksia rahoittamassa, Jarkko Piirto, Business Finland
  • Ryhmäkeskusteluita ja innovointia Valion 2.0 ohjelman viitoittamissa teemoissa


AFTERNOON SESSION 15.00-17.00 – Food for Thought From Top Entrepreneurs

The session will see the involvement of female top entrepreneurs. We will hear stories about career paths and how to exit our comfort zone and be proactive.  An interactive session will allow participants to learn how to successfully pitch and promote ideas in an extremly competitive world.

Aim of the session is to provide concrete tools and strategies to future entrepreneurs and food for thought to researchers and food supply chain stakeholders.

The session is arranged by University of Helsinki Ruralia Institute, and it will be in English.



15.00-15.30: Elisa Kitunen, Head of EEX company

15.30- 15.40: COFFEE BREAK

15.40-16.00: Discussion: How to Start Your Own Business and Enjoy the Entrepreneurial Ride in Uncertain Times?

Elsa Ervasti, Author of Pitch! in conversation with Aline Santa Izabel, entrepreneur working with start-ups 

 16.00-16.30: Pitch Outside the Box & Create Meaningful Encounters – Elsa Ervasti 


EVENING 18.30-21.30 – Culinary experience dinner at Kalevan Navetta

Culinary experience dinner at Kalevan Navetta. A multisensory dinner filled with taste experiences, music, soundscapes, and visual elements. Scheduled show with a three-course meal leaving plenty of time for engaging conversations with your tablemates.

Dinner from 18.30 to 21:30 at Kalevan Navetta, Nyykoolinkatu 25, 60100 Seinäjoki.

Menu by restaurant Äärellä.

Smoked autumn root vegetables, goat cheese and buckwheat

Roasted pike perch from Lappajärvi South Ostrobotnia, grilled fennel and nettle-seasoned beurre blanc sauce OR Roasted bolete, grilled fennel and nettle-seasoned beurre blanc sauce

Honey and panna cotta with raspberry and meringue and raspberry sorbet

Also available for purchase from the restaurant:

    • Blueberry-flavored mocktail 7 euros
    • Wines for the meal, wine package 30 euros (three wines)
    • A glass of wine 8,50 euros

Multisensory dinner is organized by University of Helsinki Ruralia Institute. The price of the culinary experience dinner is 52 euros + VAT. Payment and selection of main dish for the dinner will be requested in registration.


MORNING SESSION 8.30-12.00 – Regional Food Strategies in Comparison 

This session dives into two different regional food ecosystems – the one of Emilia-Romagna (Italy) and the one of South Ostrobothnia (Finland).

Emilia Romagna is the food valley of Italy: it boasts 44 PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) products, including the renowned Parmesan cheese, cured pork from Zibello and traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena, in addition to great quality DOC and IGT wines, 15 Slow Food Presidia and more than 200 traditional products. What are the strategies behind Emilia-Romagna’s food success? What does Emilia Romagna have in common with South Ostrobothnia? How can the 2 regions influence each other?

The session is arranged by University of Helsinki Ruralia Institute, and it will be in English.


8.30 Coffee & Networking

9.00-9.05: Welcoming – University of Helsinki Ruralia Institute and SeAMK

9.05-9.25: Mirva Lampinen, VTT Co-Creation Manager, Food Innovation Ecosystem

9.25-10.00: Sara Roversi, Founder of Future Food Institute

10.00-10.20: Silvia Gaiani, Senior Researcher, University of Helsinki Ruralia Institute

10.20-10.40: Markus Ojala, Project Manager, SeAMK

10.45–11.00: Break

11.00-11.45: Panel: What Can We Learn About Food Strategies from Italy?

Sara Roversi, Markus Ojala, Silvia Gaiani. Moderator: Marjo Särkkä, University of Helsinki Ruralia Institute.

11.45-12.00: Closing speech – Jaakko Yli-Ojanperä, Managing Director, University Association of South Ostrobothnia.


12.00-13.00 – Lunch at Restaurant Varicko


AFTERNOON SESSION 13.00 – end time will be confirmed – Food Business tour in the best place for Food Business

Food Business Tour consept consists of 5-10 introductions and visits to companies during a bus tour around the city of Seinäjoki. This tour showcases the best place for entrepreneurship in Finland and the companies located here. We will focus on familiarizing you with food sector players.

There are limited number of seats, so be sure to grab your seat!

The tour is arranged by the business development office Into Seinäjoki Oy and it is part of Innovation Ecosystem activation work in the city (EAKR).

REGISTER NOW – Food Days Seinäjoki 17.-19.9.2024

To get the most impact from Food Days Seinäjoki, we encourage you to attend both days and all sessions!

We welcome you to Seinäjoki to discuss what the sustainable future of food chain could look like and how we can achieve it together!

Food Days Seinäjoki event is part of Innovation ecosystem agreement activation project coordinated by Into Seinäjoki Oy and it is arranged in partnership with University of Helsinki Ruralia Institute.

The project is funded by European Union EU and the city of Seinäjoki. Seinäjoki is part of InnoCities network consisting of 16 cities in Finland. InnoCities use cooperation to create innovation and innovation to create sustainability.