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Introducing the Polarbröd Company Case

Here we introduce the Polarbröd company case. You will learn what the company does and how they approach sustainable production.
© Luleå University of Technology

Now that you have the theoretical approach to sustainable design, you will learn more about how an actual factory works to ensure sustainable production from start to finish.

Polarbröd is a Swedish bread factory that has delivered bread from northern Sweden out to about a dozen additional countries for over 40 years. The company Polarbröd, started in 1879, is a family-owned business with its roots in the small town of Älvsbyn. The company is owned by children and grandchildren (today in the fifth generation) to the founders of the modern company “Polarbageriet” Greta och Gösta Nilsson.

Today they have a turnover of 140 million Euro and employ 300 people.

Their product range is soft and hard flatbreads. They also have a growing range of organic bread, as well as ready-made sandwiches and special products for their foodservice customers (e.g. airlines).

The company slogan is “Polarbröd – Always Tasty and Always Fresh”. The company uses its own patented method of baking, labelled Polarmetoden™. This means that the bread is frozen directly after baking, according to old Northern Swedish traditions. The bread thaws on the way to the customer. Polarbröd states that baking without preservatives and other unnecessary additives is an important standard. And the aim is to use ingredients that are as natural as possible, but never at the expense of taste or quality. Furthermore, to avoid problems with food allergies the bread is milk-free and the most common allergens (sesame seeds, nuts, etc.) are not permitted in Polarbröd bakeries.

In 2020, Polarbröd’s bakery in Älvsbyn was affected by a large fire, destroying most parts of the factory and forcing them to rebuild.

Despite the tragedy, they have now rebuilt the factory with a new, state of the art production system designed to, sustainably, produce and deliver freshly baked bread to their customers.

In this activity, you will watch some interviews and then reflect on what’s been said. You will also apply what you have learned so far in this course to a scenario. Please note that the interviews are in Swedish but English subtitles and transcripts are available.

© Luleå University of Technology
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Exploring Sustainable Production Systems

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