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EXPLORE - Experiencing local food resources in the Nordic countries

  • Published 24/02/2010
  • Last updated 20/05/2011
The food, experience and tourism industries have increasingly become more important as stimulus for growth and development in the economies of rural regions. High quality restaurants and food experiences are well recognized as important for tourists. Increasingly, as leading restaurants serve local products, focusing their menus on regional specialities, they need to access locally produced food of excellent quality.

The report present case studies of 11 rural high quality restaurants in Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway. Rural high quality restaurants contribute to the upgrading of local food and experience production systems in terms of product quality and the range of products and services offered. Locally produced food form a competitive advantage for the restaurants. The restaurants contribution to wealth creation is mainly found in their contributions to the cluster of local experience producers. 

The restaurants in our study are all part of networks and as such they play important role for the regions they are settled in. Many local niche food producers have low or non-existing profit. The restaurants have contributed to them by showing other business model strategies than volume growth: that they can become a part of the experience industry and are able to build in profit in their produce this way. 

The policy should not only encourage restaurant and food producers to co-operate, but to regard the whole experience production chain (galleries, shops etc). Measures assuring more training for the suppliers or more cooperation in networks between suppliers and restaurants could lead to improvement and more consistent quality of the supplies.

Project duration: May 2007 - February 2010

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Project participants

  • Elisabet Ljunggren

    Senior Researcher, Nordland Research Institute, Norway (Overall project leader)