There are limited opportunities for growth in the food industry in Finland. With increased exports, the capacity of the food sector can be increased, as well as strengthening the domestic market and making it more resilient to crises, says Esa Wrang, Director of the Food from Finland program at Business Finland. Food exports are of strategic importance for Finland's national self-sufficiency and food security.
According to Wrang, the development of exports encourages companies to engage in more strategic export activities, allocate additional resources to international markets and adopt new marketing methods and distribution channels.
The biggest export figures in France have been reached in the past year, with growth of around 60% compared to the previous year. Finnish exports to the EU countries increased by an average of 26%. Our food exports were grew to China, Norway, the United States, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand from countries outside the EU. The Finnish food exports to Germany increased by about 10%.
During the operation period of the Food from Finland program implemented by Business Finland, Finland's food exports to Germany have doubled from EUR 60 million to more than 130 million since 2014. Finnish products are increasingly supplied to German distribution channels.
We cooperate with retail chains such as Edeka and Globus. Finnish products have also been able to get into other major distribution channels in Germany, such as REWE and Amazon. Lili Lehtovuori, who is responsible for the activities of the Food from Finland program in Germany, says that you can also succeed on the competitive German market with high quality.
On January 20th, the Food from Finland program will take 12 Finnish companies to the Internationale Gr ne Woche fair in Berlin. The participants include Kuivalihakundi, Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomatehdas, Kyr Distillery, Kalaneuvos, Kouvolan Lakritsi, Lammin Sahti and Poikain Parhaat.
Export success is very important for our primary production, which creates a strong foundation for the success of the entire food chain. The economic situation of farms is alarming and there is a threat that a large number of them will close down due to poor profitability. Without strong domestic primary production, we will lose our unique national food profile and competitive advantages in domestic and export markets, according to Antti Kurvinen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, who will be visiting Internationale Gr ne Woche.
Finland's main export categories are various dairy products, fresh fish, alcoholic products, pork, sugar chemistry products, mill and cereal products, especially oat and processed oat products, chocolate and sweets, and increasingly various products with supposed health benefits.
The food sector in Finland is the fourth largest industry in Finland, employing almost 40,000 people directly and one in eight Finns indirectly, i.e. More than three jobs are created in Finland by one job in the food industry. In Finland, the domestic content of raw materials is very high 82% and approximately 72% of the value added by food exports in Finland.
Efforts have been taken to increase the added value of Finnish export products. The Finnish food sector and production are sustainable, viable and innovative because of the long-term work. The competitiveness of products on the international market has been constantly improving, according to Esa Wrang.