The goal of this project is to combine academic research and development work in order to promote economic activities based on the specialization on Lapland Cattle.
Lapland Cattle (officially called Northern Finncattle) is a local cattle breed which is well adapted to the arctic environment, but whose specificity, adaptability and many outstanding qualities are poorly utilized as compared to what opportunities they offer. At the end of 2020, there were 865 purebred adult Lapland Cattle dairy cows in the whole Finland (Faba 4/2021). The breed is classified as endangered. There were 149 individuals (females of all ages and bulls) of the breed in the Province of Lapland. The number of Lapland Cattle will double in Lapland during the operation period of this project as the Lapland Cattle’s gene bank herd will be transferred to Lappia Vocational College in Tervola. This, together with the increased interest of Lapland Cattle farmers and entrepreneurs, will provide an excellent starting point for developing research-based business opportunities based on the Lapland Cattle.
The project is implemented by the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland (main implementer), in co-operation with the Natural Resources Institute Finland (co-implementer) and Kemi-Tornionlaakso’s Vocational College Lappia (co-implementer). The project is divided into four work packages: Special characteristics of the Lapland Cattle's milk and meat (WP 1); Further processing of milk and meat of the Lapland Cattle, product development, price formation and profitability of production (WP 2); The specificity of the Lapland Cattle breed, experience-based knowledge of participating farmers, and increased public awareness of the breed (WP 3); and Administration and communication
The project will provide new research knowledge and practical know-how on the sustainable and value-added utilization of the Lapland Cattle breed and, as regards to its products, on the nutritional composition and specific properties of milk and meat. This will increase readiness for entrepreneurship in small dairy activities, utilization of meat, marketing of the products of the Lapland Cattle as special local products, and utilization of the breed’s cultural history, farmers’ experiential knowledge and stories in order to make the breed and its products and services better.
The knowledge and know-how produced in the project will be disseminated to the target groups through various workshops, seminars, publications and information packages. The project is aimed at milk and meat producers, farmers utilizing the Lapland Cattle as a breed, tourism entrepreneurs and restaurants, food processing companies, advisory and research institutes and other service providers. Other target groups include consumers and tourists, science centres, museums, associations and educational institutions.