In the Slow Food festival in Fiskars, there were quite a lot of meat products, producers, and of course buyers. Also there were other products for example apples, potato and honey. The festival area was big and there were lots of interesting booths. In order to better get to know the whole meat producing process under the concept of slow food, we went straight into the market hall and attended a panel discussion. Here’s a roundup of our visit in Fiskars.
AT THE MARKET
While visiting the hall of meat products, we noticed that most producers clearly showed where their products were from with posters or other material. This helped us to get information about their products easily but if you had any question about them you could also talk to the producer. We talked to two shop owners about where the products were from and how the animals were treated in the production. One of the producers runs a farm, the animals at the farm can freely walk around. The other producer produces their products by hunting, therefore the animals lived freely until they were hunted. Most of the producers had family businesses. We also talked to a buyer who bought the meat products in Fiskars. One lady mentioned that it was good to talk to the producer when buying products, and she could also get to know better ways to cook the meat. Instead of buying meat products in Fiskars because of concept of slow food, some buyer bought the meat products in Fiskars simply because they were visiting the festival.
The panel discussion focused on the wellbeing of animals in the meat production industry. The panel consisted of a veterinarian, a farmer and the CEO of a small slaughterhouse. One of the main points they brought up during the discussion was of how having smaller slaughterhouses near the people who grow the livestock is better for the animals, as transporting the cattle for shorter distances is less stressful for the animals and makes it easier to ensure their wellbeing, since the amount of cattle is small enough to have them in better conditions once they arrive at the slaughterhouse. This is both good for the environment and produces better meat, since the wellbeing of an animal has a direct effect on the quality of the meat it produces. Another main point was about the living conditions of the cattle while on the farm. At the panelist’s farm the animals can roam freely, meaning they could eat fresh grass whenever they wanted and get as much exercise as possible. This makes the meat completely organic and results in happier animals. They also believe this kind of organic, ethical meat will soon become more popular as people nowadays eat less, but higher quality meat.
Text and pictures: Tuukka Kattainen, Elina Altti, Aniol Lopez Armengol, Yen-Hsin Wang