Jaana Husu-Kallio

Sustainability as a national priority in the Finnish food chain Jaana Husu-Kallio Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry ERIAFF Conference 2014 12.6.2014


ERIAFF conference 2014 Seinäjoki, Finland Jaana Husu-Kallio: "Sustainability as a national priority in the Finnish food chain"

Transcript of Jaana Husu-Kallio

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Sustainability as a national

priority in the Finnish food chain

Jaana Husu-Kallio

Permanent Secretary

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

ERIAFF Conference 2014


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Sustainability in the food chain

• Ecological responsibility

• Product safety

• Nutrition

• Well-being at work

• Animal welfare

• Economic responsibility

• Local impact

CSR in the food supply chain – Description

of an interactive process in constructing the content of CSR. Forsman-Hugg et al. MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Economic Research 2009 (Maa- ja elintarviketalous 140)

Photo: Riitta Supperi / Keksi / Team Finland

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Ecological responsibility

• Several initiatives and projects in Finland to reduce the

ecological footprint in food production and consumption

• Most farmers were committed to the agri-environmental

support scheme (2007–2013)

– As a result of this, e.g. the P balance has decreased by

81% and the N balance by 41% from 1995

• Even more emphasis on environmental issues in the Rural

Development Programme for Mainland Finland 2014–


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Ecological responsibility

Examples of other actions in Finland:

• Government Resolution on the national water protection objectives

– The objective is to reduce load from agriculture by at least a third by 2015 (as compared to 2001–2005)

• Government Programme to promote organic production

• Government Programme on local food

• Actions to reduce energy consumption

– National Climate and Energy Strategy

– Farm Energy Programme

• Government Resolution on the promotion of sustainable environmental and energy solutions (cleantech) in public procurement

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Ecological responsibility

– organic production Organic production in Finland

• Organic production area is increasing; 9% at the moment

• Average size of organic farms is 48.9 ha (= greater than that of conventional farms)

• Sales of organic food increased by 24% in 2012 (twice as much as that of conventional food)

– Market share of organic food is still small, 1.6%.

• In organic product exports the most important sector is the cereal sector

– 60% is exported

Government Programme to promote organic production aims to:

• Increase organic production to meet the consumer demand

• Increase the range of organic products

• Increase the supply of organic products to consumers as well as restaurants and mass caterers

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Ecological responsibility –

food waste • Food waste is waste of money

and resources and contributes

to climate change due to

increase in greenhouse gases.

• Food waste is a worldwide


– Average waste in North America

95–115 kg/person /year

– European average is

76 kg/person/year

– Finland 23 kg/person/year

• We can be proud of the low

figure, but we need to continue

the work to reduce food waste:

every crumb counts!

27 %

35 %

18 %

20 %

Food waste in the Finnish food chain is 335–460

million kg/year (10–15% of all food consumed in






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Ecological responsibility –

food waste Food chain can continue to reduce food waste

and improve cost-efficiency.

• Novel by-product development (especially industry).

• Accurate demand planning and product management (industry and retail).

– If planning fails: donate the food, do not waste! This also applies to the catering business.

– Finnish Food Safety Authority (Evira) has given guidelines on how to donate food.

Household food waste is addressed by multiple stakeholders, e.g. the Consumer’s Union of Finland.

• Week 37 in September is dedicated to food waste reduction.

Photo: Liisi Reitalu – norden.org

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Product safety

Future food safety challenges to be met together:

1. Globalization

2. Food chain; network of actors

3. Nutritional challenges

All these three are considered as challenges for the

near future and action is taken to guarantee a high

standard of food safety.

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Product safety – Food safety

is top class in Finland • Result of long-term commitment of all

players in the food chain.

• The base of food safety lies in primary production: safe food originates from healthy plants and a high standard of animal husbandry, including welfare.

• Responsible use of fertilizers and minimal use of plant protection products+ prudent use of antibiotics.

• National Salmonella Control Programme since 1995 covers bovines, poultry and pigs, and their meat and eggs, and has reduced the incidence of salmonella to <1%.

– zero-tolerance policy for feed

Photo: MMM archives

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Product safety – Food control

starts in primary production

• Operators in the food chain

have the main responsibility.

• Food control is the

responsibility of municipal

veterinarians and health


• Traceability of the products is

important from the ‘field to fork’.

• Traceability is also a consumer


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Product safety Oiva is the novel way to inform about the

control results.

• Retail and catering sectors have their control

results published by the Finnish Food Safety

Authority Evira.

• Expanded to cover the whole food sector by


Photo: Evira

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• In developing responsibility focus has been on the pigmeat and

fruit and vegetable sectors.

– Healthcare system for primary production of pigmeat

(SIKAVA) has been constructed as a national quality system

and audited by a third party.

Approved by the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira as

the first national quality system in Finland in summer


The national quality system for pigmeat was certified by

the Bureau Veritas in winter 2014.

– Project concerning quality systems for vegetables under way.

• In the future national quality systems likely to be designed for

beef, poultry and cereal sectors.

Product safety – Responsibility can be defined

as action beyond statutory requirements

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Nutrition as a sustainability

factor in the food chain • Obesity and other food-related non-communicable

diseases (NCD) are a growing problem all over the


• In Finland obesity and other lifestyle-related diseases

cost over 2 billion euros annually.

Heavy burden on our society

• All players in the food chain have a role to play to

tackle the issue.

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Corporate nutrition responsibility

is part of social responsibility • Including nutrition in company strategies.

• Product development towards healthier choices: less sugar, salt and saturated fats, with products entitled to carry the Heart symbol as the aim.

– Heart symbol is granted to products with good nutritional characteristics.

– Heart symbol is well known among consumers.

• Clear and accurate product labeling to enhance consumer choice.

• Responsible marketing communication.

– Products for everyday consumption have a good nutritional profile.

– Special care of vulnerable groups, e.g. children.

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Well-being at work • Finland has comprehensive legislation on working hours,

annual holidays, sick leaves and work safety

• In the agriculture sector there is a relief service for farmers.

– The most comprehensive system for cattle farmers =>

annual holidays, substitute help and relief service

subject to a charge

• The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has also addressed

the topic of well-being

– State aid granted by the Ministry to rural advisory


Organisations arrange among other things actions

regarding farmers’ occupational health and well-

being and coping at work.

– Other actions funded by the Ministry:

Food chain project aid granted to organisations –

also projects focused on restaurant and mass

caterer employees and their well-being Photo: MMM archives

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Animal welfare

• Overhaul of animal welfare

legislation is under way

• Finland’s first Animal Welfare

Ombudsman appointed last autumn

• Finnish Centre for Animal Welfare

EHK functions as a national network

in animal welfare issues

• Livestock sectors active in the work

on responsibility

Photo: MMM archives

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Animal health

• Neither salmonella nor campylobacter are problems in the Finnish livestock sector

• Use of antimicrobials for farm animals is low compared to other countries

• A new Animal Diseases Act entered into force on 1 January 2014. Operators bear the primary responsibility for protecting the health of their animals

• Finnish primary producers have since 15 years ago developed quality assurance schemes for pigs, cattle and poultry, with a view of protecting the animals from serious infectious diseases

• The poultry sector has developed its own system for protecting animal health. As a result, Finnish poultry remains free of most infectious diseases and no vaccination is used against Newcastle disease.

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Economic responsibility

• Food chain as a whole employs about 300 000 Finns; 12% of

the total labour force

• Finnish food sector employs

– more than 80 000 raw material producers

– about 40 000 people in food and raw material processing

– at least 70 000 people in wholesale and retail business

– about 60 000 restaurant and catering professionals

• In addition, a large number of people work in transportation and


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Economic responsibility –

Local impact *The local food sector is growing in Finland

Government Programme on local food has the following objectives:

• Increase and diversify the production of local food; more highly processed local foods

• Improve the opportunities for small-scale food processing and sale

• Increase the share of local food in public procurement

• Improve the opportunities of primary production

• Closer collaboration between actors in the local food sector

• Improve the appreciation of food and actors in the food chain

Local aspect in the food chain = local food comprises the presentation of food culture of the regions, use of local raw materials and bringing the producer and consumer closer to each other

Raw materials the most commonly used as local food - berries, vegetables, whole-grain milling products (rye in particular) - are core elements of a diet constructed upon responsibility

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Rural Development Programme

for Mainland Finland 2014-2020 An important tool to develop sustainability in the Finnish food sector;

includes e.g. payments for environment measures, measures to enhance animal welfare and measures to develop organic production.

The programme impacts for example on:

• agricultural greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions

• nutrient balances

• amounts of plant protection products used

• changes in energy use and energy sources of farms and enterprises

• abundance of animals representing the local breeds and local arable crops or landrace varieties

• number of organic food enterprises

• number of shortcomings detected in animal welfare inspections on farms

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Rural Development Programme

for Mainland Finland 2014-2020 Payments to environmental measures (1.6 billion euros in total)

• Targeted measures to control water pollution, enhance biodiversity, promote soil condition and productivity, and mitigate climate change and adapt to it

• Environment commitments: measures concerning the amount of nutrients used at the level of individual farms and parcel-specific optional measures

• Environment contracts: targeted measures for wetland management and biodiversity sites and for the rearing of local breeds

• Gene bank actions

Payments to animal welfare measures

=> Developing proactive healthcare and well-being of farm animals in Finland: cattle, pigs, goats and poultry

=> Conditions regarding e.g. the housing, handling and treatment, grazing, enrichment and pain relief for farm animals

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Rural Development Programme

for Mainland Finland 2014-2020 Payments to organic production (326 million euros in total)

– Compliance with the conditions for organic plant production practice and participating in the control system.

– Applies to the farm as a whole but a separate contract can be concluded for horticulture products grown in the open.

Organic livestock production

– Minimum number of animals on the farm 0.3 LU/ha.

– Organic farms may commit to most of the conditions relating to the environment and animal welfare payment

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Photos: MMM archivet

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Thank you for your attention!

For more information please visit www.mmm.fi.