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Sunday, 16 June, 2024
Home BUSINESSDemand for organic foods low in Finland
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Thu, 07 May, 2015 12:06:02 AM
Govt to launch organic product popularising campaign
FTimes – STT Report, May 7
Organic products packet. Photo Lehtikuva.
Kainuu and North Karelia produce much more organic products than other areas in Finland. 
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, more than a quarter of the cultivated land in Kainuu grows organic products and more than a fifth of the farmland in North Karelia is organic. 
Elsewhere in Finland, organic farms represent at most only 10 per cent of the cultivated areas.
“The profitability of land in Kainuu and the North Karelia may have improved by going organic,” said Senior Agricultural Officer Leena Seppä. 
Organic farms receive special government subsidies because their yields are smaller.
Organic Bread Farm in Helsinki. File Photo Lehtikuva.
“In those areas, there’s also a lot of space which is used for both livestock and farming,” added Seppä.
In addition, Kainuu and North Karelia are home to many sheep farms, which can easily transition to organic, if the pastures are available. According to Seppä, over a fifth of Finnish lamb meat is organic, compared to only 2.6 per cent of beef.
Meanwhile, the demand for organic food in Finland lags far behind the leading countries in Europe. 
According to the ministry, about eight per cent of the food market in Denmark was organic in 2013, compared to less than two per cent in Finland. Sales of organic products have, however, been increasing in recent years.
The leading consumers of organic food have traditionally been the Danish, followed by the Swiss and Austrians. 
File Photo Lehtikuva.
Organic food is also much more popular in Sweden than in Finland. About four per cent of Sweden’s food market is organic.
Seppä doesn’t know why the demand for organic products in Finland has progressed so slowly.
“Some people say that it is more difficult to find on the shelf, but I wholeheartedly disagree,” said Seppä.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will launch a consumer campaign next week, which aims to increase the demand for organic products. 
Subsidies are paid to help offset production shortage. For example, subsidies for outdoor vegetables such as carrots, onions, cabbage, lettuce and root vegetables have just been increased due to the shortage.
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