Revitalization of Nordic Kitchen Manifesto – exploring future constructive dialogues about sustainable and healthy food systems


Foto:, Maria Albrechtsen Mortesen.

Promotion of sustainable and healthy food systems is at the core of Nordic co-operation. Within the revitalization process, we explore the Nordic Kitchen Manifesto as a catalyst in creating new constructive dialogues about Nordic food culture to match the different sustainability perspectives of a sustainable lifestyle. The work in progress is facilitated by New Nordic Food programme.

The Nordics are on a mission to transform their food systems. The countries want to further strengthen their role as pioneers. One step for reaching sustainable development goals is to share Nordic solutions, innovations and best practices. Here we need to listen to, network with, be inspired by and learn from the younger generation of professionals such as chefs and other key actors within the whole value chain of food. The revitalization brings together public, private and third sector as well as research and education in creating a constructive dialogue about Nordic food culture and its different drivers for promoting sustainable lifestyle. 

The Nordic Kitchen Manifesto was conceived and formulated in 2004 by 12 chefs and summarized in ten points on purity, season, ethics, health, sustainability and quality. Support for bottom-up processes and innovation in the food service sector have been a priority for Nordic co-operation ever since. It has led us to a new level of consciousness by placing meals in front and in center. Keys to success are collaboration, networking, sharing solutions and dialogue.

National strategies have subsequently been drawn up, using food as a tool not only for attracting tourism, supporting artisans and entrepreneurs, improving hospitality, national branding and sustainable growth, but also to consolidate new holistic principles for Nordic food identity based on sustainability and good health. At a local government level, councils see food as the next frontier of the creative economy and a way of adding to the urban experience. Transition to more sustainable diets is the next frontier of food policy. 

Today the New Nordic is the new normal. It has slowly become part of our educational system teaching the next generation about food, agriculture, cooking and sustainable wellbeing that benefits us all. The growing awareness, actions and new forms of leadership revitalizes our Nordic food culture and identity every day. Moving ahead we need a constructive dialogue and networking with young drivers for change in building an equitable and just food system transformation.

The revitalization process engages key stakeholders cross-sectoral and includes a variety of network activities such as webinars, workshops, dialogue events and communication in 2021-2022. The work is facilitated by the New Nordic Food programme and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry as part of Finland's presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021. The New Nordic Food programme aims at initiating, facilitating and coordinating activities grounded in the Nordic Kitchen Manifesto.

During 2021 kick off with a Nordic webinar (27.9) for communicating, networking and engaging key stakeholders and a focus group consisting of 16 young food and restaurant/hospitality professionals driving the transition towards more sustainable and healthy food systems in the Nordic countries. The focus group is active in moving the process forward via variety of activities and exploring different sustainability perspectives to consider for current added value of Nordic Kitchen Manifesto. 

During 2022 the revitalization process work continues in giving a status quo of Nordic Kitchen Manifesto within a sustainable, healthy food system context, presenting and piloting a new constructive dialogue method and planning for organizing a series of eight (8) facilitated dialogue events in the Nordic countries. The dialogue events bring together actors widely engaged in promotion of sustainable food systems as well as new actors for a dialogue, networking and advocacy. The aim is to collect the key insights and need of development/drivers for change from the dialogues as part of the results from the revitalization process of the Nordic Kitchen Manifesto. Partner in piloting the constructive dialogue method is Timeout-Foundation. 

Dialogue events in the Nordic Region in 2022: 
Åland Islands 22.3.
Faroe Islands 8.4.
Finland 25.4.
Denmark 2.5.
Iceland 9.5.
Sweden 16.5.
Norway 21.6.
Greenland 8/22 (tbc)

Synergies in communication and activities is to be found also with EMBLA Nordic Food Awards as well as the work with the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2022. This as part of the Norwegian presidency in Nordic Council of Ministers. 

Further the revitalization process, its aims and keyquestions of drivers for a just transition to sustainable, healthy food systems is to presented and discussed as part of the Nordic programme during Nordic democratic forums such as Almedalsveckan 2022 in Sweden. 

Further information

Bettina C. Lindfors, Project Manager, Tel. +358 40 920 9810, bettina.c.lindfors(at),
New Nordic Food, Nordic Council of Ministers c/o Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland
Twitter: @BettinaLindfors @nynordiskmat

Anna Salminen, Special Adviser, Tel. +358 2951 62002, anna.salminen(at), Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland


New Nordic Food website 

Nordic Kitchen Manifesto

Webinar: The Nordic Kitchen Manifesto – a catalyst for exploring future dialogues on sustainable and healthy food systems

Key insights from the kick off webinar about the revitalization of Nordic Kitchen Manifesto (in Swedish)

The must read in The Guardian (2020)

Solution #9 i Solutions Menu – a Nordic guide to sustainable food policy

New Nordic Food II – final report 2010-2014

The Emergence of a new Nordic food culture 
“ … in EK-FJLS (Executive) all agreed that the New Nordic Food concept was important for Nordic co-operation and that it is one of the greatest Nordic successes in recent times.”

New Nordic Food II – A popular movement continues, Report 2010-2012 

Background information about earlier programperiods (in Swedish)