Responsible products

Healthy products and sustainable lifestyle are increasingly important for consumers. HKScan seeks to meet consumers' needs by offering healthy, safe and responsibly manufactured products that are suitable for balanced diets. Safe and healthy products are key aspects of our sustainability work, as food has an important impact on consumers' health and well-being.

Safe products

Ensuring product safety and consumers’ health lays the foundation for HKScan's operations. Product safety measures are implemented across a long food chain, from farm to fork. Each stage of the chain is important in ensuring product safety and quality. HKScan has compiled information about product safety in a compact Fact Sheet.

The implementation of product safety and quality is guided by HKScan’s policies. The Group’s Quality Policy determines its quality management principles and the regulations, guidelines and reference documents to be followed in its operations. The quality policy applies to the entire Group and covers the whole of the supply chain related to products and processes.

The HKScan Group’s Food Safety Policy determines product safety management and the related responsibilities within the Group, as well as the regulations, standards, guidelines and documents to be followed.  Product safety management is based on risk assessments of products and their production processes and on the management system founded on these. All of HKScan’s production plants have certified product safety management systems (see Certified Operations 2017 table below), and their functionality is ensured through internal and third-party audits. Training for employees is essential in ensuring product safety, including hygiene and production process management, as well as the management of any deviations in production.

In 2017, HKScan acquired the share capital of Paimio Slaughterhouse and started a new poultry production plant in Rauma. In Paimio Slaughterhouse, a preliminary audit in accordance with the FSSC 22000 product safety standard has been completed, and the certification audit will be carried out in 2018. In Rauma poultry production plant a certification audit has been carried out in 2017.

VP Quality, who reports to EVP Operations is responsible for product safety and quality. 

HKScan’s product safety management system includes ensuring product traceability. The traceability system ensures timely measures in the event of product recalls, to prevent any risk to consumers’ health. HKScan aims to prevent all product recalls. There were 16 product recalls in 2017. Making a product recall in the event of an error is part of responsible actions and the potential factors or costs that affect the company's image or business never prevent the recall. Product recalls were caused by an allergen error, incorrect ingredient or mistake in dosing the ingredient, mistakes on the label information or best before date or suspicious foreign object. Reasons for product recalls have been investigated and corrective measures have been taken.


 1. HKScan's production plants in Finland have been certified for already 20 years. As a result of external audits carried out in the autumn 2017, updated ISO 9001:2015 and 14001:2015 certificates were issued for HKScan’s operations in Finland. The certificates cover the company’s locations in Vantaa, Mikkeli, Forssa and Outokumpu and its procurement, slaughter and cutting operations, as well as product development related to meat, meat products and ready meals, along with materials purchases, production, sales, marketing, exports and transportation. In addition, all of the company’s production plants in Finland have now certified FSC 22 000 product safety management systems.

2. HKScan cooperates with research institutes and participates in projects to further develop product safety. A cooperation project between HKScan, FoodSafe and the Zealand Institute of Business and Technology was started in Denmark in 2017. A new method for cleaning production facilities and equipment will be tested during this one-year project.

3. HKScan also participates in academic research on product safety. During 2017, HKScan was involved in research projects of the University of Helsinki, for example.

4. In addition, the company participates in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, which is funded by the European Commission and involves eight European university and company laboratories. The programme provides training for 15 promising young researchers for doctoral studies in microbiology for three years.

Certified operations 2017
IFS  BRC Remarks
Finland Vantaa X X X    
Forssa X X X    
Mellilä X X X    
Eura X X X    
Outokumpu X X X
Mikkeli X X X     1)
Paimio X 2)
Rauma X
Baltics Tabasalu, Estonia X X X
Rakvere, Estonia   X X X    
Viiratsi, Estonia X X    
Jelgava, Latvia   X X    
Sweden Kristianstad X X X X   3)
Linkoping X X X X     3)
Skara X X X   3)
Halmstad X X X   3)
Denmark Vinderup       X X
Skovsgaard       X X
Poland Świnoujście X X X
1) Organic certificate in Finland
2) Preliminary audits in 2017, certification audits in 2018
3) Krav – Organic certificate in Sweden

Healthy products

Nutritional aspects and increased health awareness among consumers are important considerations in HKScan’s product development, which is based on an in-depth understanding of consumers needs. Product development at HKScan is also facilitated by the Categories & Concepts function and research carried out in cooperation with several partners.

Nordic and national nutrition recommendations, as well as current trends, are taken into account in product development. According to nutrition recommendations, meat is an element of a balanced diet, along with vegetables, whole-grain products and vegetable oils and fats. Nutrition recommendations guide the general eating habits of the population. HKScan aims to have a positive effect on public health by developing and offering a diverse range of high-nutritional-quality products for consumers. In 2017, around 16 per cent of the products introduced by HKScan were based on an innovation or improvement related to nutritional value.

We have also paid attention to the amount and quality of fat and the amount of salt contained in our products. For example, the amount of unsaturated fats in our Omega 3 Pork products is in line with nutrition recommendations. Around 10 per cent of our product updates are related to reducing the amount of salt. We have adjusted the composition of products by increasing the amount of vegetables. The vegetable content of our products varies from 21 to 50 per cent. We have also introduced ready meals and cold cuts suitable for vegetarians.

HKScan’s Health and Nutrition manager is responsible for ensuring the competence necessary for developing a product range of a high nutritional quality, and the head of the Categories & Concepts function is responsible for product concept development and management.

HKScan has products that meet requirements of the national Heart Symbol in Finland and the Keyhole label in Sweden and Denmark. The symbols inform that the products are recommendable from a health perspective.

HKScan has compiled an information package about meat and nutritional aspects. Read more about nutritional facts related to meat.


1. Copa Cogeca awarded HKScan’s Omega 3 Pork with an innovation award. Omega 3 Pork was lauded for being a product that creates value across the food chain. Read more here

2. HKScan participates in Natural Resources Institute Finland’s (Luke) (link in Finnish) research project to develop components from food production side streams that can be used to replace some of the salt contained in food products. Salt is a risk factor for arterial hypertension, for example. Replacing salt with peptides could have significant effects on public health.

3. In Sweden, HKScan has produced video material (in Swedish) about meat and nutrition.

4. In Finland, at the beginning of 2017, HKScan introduced HK PoPo® (link in Finnish). Popo is a new type of low-fat (8%) minced meat that contains 75 per cent pork and 25 per cent carrots. As well as HK Sportti® (link in Finnish), minced meat with a fat content of only five per cent.

5. In her blog posts, HKScan’s nutrition expert writes about meat as an element of a balanced diet (read more here in Finnish).

6. HKScan has pledged to promote sustainable development through five nutrition commitments within the Commitment 2050 initiative in Finland. HKScan is committed to developing product options to increase the consumption of vegetables and reduce the consumption of salt as well as widen options for smaller packaging sizes.

7. HKScan participates in ScenoProt (link in Finnish), a project coordinated by Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) to study the use of insects as human and animal nutrition.

8. Visit the Kotitilalta magazine website (in Finnish) for an interview with Heli Arantola, EVP Categories & Concepts at HKScan, about consumer trends and consumer behaviour.