We bake with Swedish ingredients as much as possible, because they grow close to our bakeries and because Swedish farming is among the most sustainable in Europe.
Our most important ingredient is flour and it comes from our own mills. We have a close, long-term relationship with farmers who grow cereals in fields nearby.
The flour is ground in our own mills near our bakeries in Malmö and Gothenburg. Having our own mills ensure we have the right craftsmanship to supply us with the best flour with the right quality. The mills also give us the opportunity to a form a close relationship with people who grow grains on the fields nearby.
Lilla Harrie Valskvarn, Sweden's oldest mill, has been milling flour since 1509 and today about a quarter of Sweden's bakery flour comes from here.
Swedish farming has a good environmental standard compared globally. Cereals grown by Swedish farmers are among the cleanest in the EU and are subjected to the least plant protection products in Europe.
But we go further than general legislation. For example, we do not allow sludge fertilization or the use of straw-shortening agents.
No sludge fertilization
Since 2010 we have banned sludge fertilization, as it can spread substances that are harmful to the environment and health, such as cadmium, heavy metals and chemicals. We don’t believe that the method is sufficiently proven and secured. We demand that grain from new fields has not been sludge fertilized in the last three years.
We have a close dialogue with our farmers about this issue and the vast majority share our opinion and think that this ban is good. Our suppliers must be able to show traceability for the grain they deliver, right down to the field.
Pågen has a long history of baking in Sweden and we feel a great responsibility for helping develop long-term sustainable agriculture here. As a large bakery, we can influence this by prioritizing Swedish ingredients and by actively operating joint development projects with farmers.
We test and develop more sustainable Swedish cereals. We test wheat that gives greater harvests and less environmental impact, and test rye to give better quality and less need for plant protection products.
We also trial new cereals, which there is limited access to in Sweden. Thanks to the development work at our mill, Pågen's bakeries now have access to both durum and dinkel/spelts from local growers - varieties that are traditionally not grown to any great extent on our latitudes.
Pågen has close and long-term cooperation with approximately 200 contracted farmers who have their fields near our mills and we therefore know exactly where the grain comes from.
We believe it is important for Sweden to have a sustainable conventional agriculture that contributes to a vivid countryside and more jobs.
Pågen has a few selected suppliers who live up to our terms and conditions. The ingredients we use should have been produced in a sustainable way. We follow up on this through a close dialogue and through recurring controls. When we develop new products we make a careful evaluation of new ingredients and their origin.
To increase transparency about the origin of our raw materials, we have introduced our own label, ”Swedish flour from our own mill”, on our breads. The label may only be applied to products that contain at least 90% Swedish flour from our own mill, Lilla Harrie Valskvarn.