Collaborating for cleanliness and hygiene

Eero Raappana, who is retiring as managing director of Meira Nova, has high regard for Kiilto’s Finnishness, responsible approach to the environment and effective overall solutions.

Meira Nova is a subsidiary of SOK Corporation that specialises in procurement and logistics for the food service and grocery sector. Meira Nova is a full-service provider, since in addition to food products, it supplies its customers with products related to hygiene and cleanliness, as well as overall solutions.

The company has been working closely with Kiilto for many years. Meira Nova’s managing director Eero Raappana particularly values Kiilto’s Finnishness.

“Most other operators in the industry are major multinational companies, and customers appreciate the fact that there is an attractive Finnish option available to them as well.”

Keeping it compact and simple enough

According to Raappana, Kiilto has been successful in creating functional cleanliness and hygiene solutions for the professional kitchen environment, where the cooks also do the cleaning.

“It is important that kitchens have a limited but comprehensive range of products that can handle all cleaning tasks. A kitchen really only needs five or six Kiilto products to keep surfaces as clean as they must be kept.”

For safe use of the products, it is also essential that the instructions for dispensing and use are clear. Pictures and colour tags also help to ensure this.

“Safe use is also promoted by the fact that the instructions are available in enough languages”, Raappana notes. “The food sector is international, and many employees are not native Finnish speakers.”

A responsible company

Raappana points out that responsibility and care for the environment are already self-evident requirements in the field.

“Kiilto has also been a frontrunner in this respect also, as the company has always invested significantly in environmental friendliness”.

For example, in the 1990s, Kiilto introduced cleaning products for professional use that carry the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

Help close at hand, digitally and in person

Raappana also has praise for Kiilto’s digital solution, HygiNet®. HygiNet® brings together cleaning instructions and procedures for specific areas and equipment, and continually updated documentation required by governmental regulations, including user safety data sheets, product information and reports on test samples.

“Work becomes more efficient and effective when test sample information can be kept in a centralised system”, Raappana says.

In addition to this, Kiilto specialists visit customer sites on request, when help is needed with the cleaning of equipment and materials and with taking samples for hygiene tests.

Kiilto sales manager Lea Uuksulainen acknowledges Meira Nova as a leading developer of cleaning practices in the field.

“We have developed solutions in cooperation with Meira Nova. For example, for one area of application we worked together to decide on the most suitable devices and materials for that purpose.”

Centralised deliveries are easier on the environment

Eero Raappana retires in August. His decades of experience in the food service sector have given him a broad perspective on the development of the industry.

“The most significant change in the kitchen sector is the increasing degree to which ready-to-use ingredients are used. Whereas in the 1970s pork products, for example, would be delivered to the kitchen still on the carcass, today’s kitchen professionals get their ingredients efficiently and at a consistent level of quality. Thanks to this, even though there is a severe shortage of kitchen professionals nowadays, even with reduced skills. good food can still be produced”.

Another major change has been the transition to centralised deliveries.

“In the past, there could well have been as many as 80 vans or lorries making deliveries to a restaurant in a week. Nowadays, all the products a kitchen needs are delivered by one lorry, in one to three loads per week. The move to centralised transport has been very beneficial for the environment, and Meira Nova has been one of the pioneers in this regard”.

Digitalisation gives a boost

Meira Nova’s product range has now grown to over 21,000 products. When it comes to handling logistics, digital systems are at the heart of today’s operations.

The company is now breaking new ground with the adoption of digital technology:

“Our logistics centre employees are starting to use smart glasses. These guide the wearer through thousands of roll pallets to quickly find one that needs replenishing, for example with Kiilto products”.

Raappana says that even after he retires, he will not leave the field entirely.

“Food service is becoming better appreciated all the time. I believe that free agents like myself could have something to offer, for example by serving on the boards of directors of food companies, or in the start-up world, or as consultants.”