Ever since she was a little girl, how to get things done better has been an important question for development manager Katja Alhonoja. At Gasum, she works to develop the recycled nutrients and fertilizers produced in biogas plants as well as to advance the entire market around them.
I work in Gasum’s biogas unit, where I’m in charge of the research, product and market development and marketing of recycled nutrients and fertilizers. I work a lot with our clients. I seek partnership opportunities for our existing products but also for new products and innovations. In addition, I interact frequently with our stakeholders – for instance, with different authorities and research facilities – to advance the range of uses for recycled nutrients.
Plant nutrition and safe and high-quality food production in Finland have been close to my heart from the time when I was studying. When I graduated, circular economy was a talking point, but I couldn’t imagine that it would become the driving force behind my work. I think that even small daily actions done locally are a step towards a more sustainable world.
When I started working at Gasum in December 2019, my position was brand new, and this allowed me to build both my own competence and my job description. I’ve been positively surprised by how much I’ve been able to bring my agrological know-how into the organization and how ready Gasum was to take recycled nutrients and fertilizers as part of their energy business.
I’ve known from a young age that I want to work with agriculture, nature and food production – and particularly in developing the industry. I’ve always had the urge to examine how things can be done even better and more efficiently. It’s the only way for me to function. Fortunately, my work suits this tendency perfectly. The recycled nutrients sector is constantly evolving, thus everything one does for it develops the field in some way.
Sustainably produced food and its sufficiency and the shortage or excess of nutrients are globally significant issues that naturally also affect Finland. When we think of new solutions, we have to consider the bigger picture and whether the solutions are scalable. The recycled nutrients and fertilizers industry is thoroughly based on sustainability, and thus very different from the traditional nutrient trade and market. At Gasum, we are a part of the circular economy ecosystem, and this goes for our customers as well.
Position: Development manager, recycled nutrients and fertilizers
Education: MSc. Agriculture and Forestry, Bachelor of Soil science
Hobbies: Garden enthusiast, spending time outdoors with the family