Fazer Mill & Mixes and Organic Food Finland join forces

Fazer Mill & Mixes has invested in a new oat mill in Lahti, Finland. The mill has now been in operation since the summer 2013 and is one of the most modern oat mills in the world. Fazer wants to respond to the increasing demand of oats in the world by offering excellent Finnish oats. Fazer Mill & Mixes is already renowned for its high-quality rye and wheat products.

”A lot of untreated oat is exported from Finland, but we at Fazer want to add value to the oats and export ready- made products which require good professional skills” says the Director of Fazer Mill & Mixes Pekka Mäki-Reinikka.

Finland is well known as a producer of the highest quality oats. Finland also has a lot of organic farming with 9% of the arable field area certified organic with a growth of 11% per year (2012). The most popular grain in organic production in Finland is oats because it adapts well to organic farming in Nordic conditions and gives consistent high quality yields. Finland is globally one of the biggest producers of organic oats. Finland’s official target to reach 20% organic field area by 2020 gives confidence that sufficient raw-material will be available.

Fazer is one of the biggest millers of organic grain in Finland. Fazer’s goal is that a significant part of the new oat mill’s production will be certified organic for export markets. With this in mind Fazer has decided to enter into cooperation with Organic Food Finland who has a long experience in export of organic products and knows well the organic grain market and specifically the oats market. Erkki Pöytäniemi at Organic Food Finland will use his wide contact network and market knowledge to develop the export. Fazer Mill & Mixes will be exhibiting at BioFach 2014 in Nuremberg, Germany in February 2014. ”I am excited that we can offer high-quality Finnish organic oat flakes to the growing organic market in Europe and elsewhere. This is a win-win for the Finnish organic farmers, Fazer and the increasing number of demanding customers and consumers around the world.” Erkki Pöytäniemi says.

Additional information:

Mr Pekka Mäki-Reinikka, Director, Fazer Mill & Mixes, tel. +358 400 422 051

Mr Erkki Pöytäniemi, Export, Organic Food Finland, tel. +358 50 5505225

e-mail: erkki@organic-finland.com

 

Please contact us for any further information.

 

www.fazer.fi                                          www.organic-finland.com

 (Photographer: Erkki Poytaniemi)

Oat flakes and other oat products now available from Fazer Mill & Mixes.

Fazer Mill & Mixes has started a brand new Oat Mill with state-of-the-art technology in Finland in September 2013. Fazer’s oat mill represents the very latest production technology which allows us to create a wide range of high quality products. The new oat mill enables us to complement our product range with oat products but also rye and wheat flakes.

Our portfolio is primarily intended for bakeries and the food industry including oat flakes with different technical properties as well as stabilized kernels and steel cut oats. As raw material we use only Finnish oats which is available also in organically-grown. The package sizes are 10 or 20 kg paper bags and big bags (500 – 1000 kg).

 

Our quality portfolio of organic products comprises the following products:

  • O 2000 BIO Organic heat-treated oats
  • O 2000 SC BIO Organic steel cut oats
  • O 2000 P BIO Organic pressed oats
  • O 2000 JF BIO Organic jumbo oat flakes
  • O 2000 TF BIO Organic thick oat flakes
  • O 2000 F BIO Organic oat flakes
  • O 2000 IF BIO Organic instant oat flakes
  • Organic Wholemeal oat flour
  • Organic Oat bran
  • R 1800 P BIO Organic pressed rye
  • R 1800 F BIO Organic rye flake
  • V 1700 F BIO Organic wheat flake

 

Fazer Group

Fazer is an international family-owned company offering bakery, confectionery and biscuit products as well as contract catering, restaurant and café services. Fazer operates in eight countries and exports to more than 40 countries. The company’s success, ever since its establishment in 1891, has been based on the best product and service quality, beloved brands and skillful people. Fazer’s operations comply with ethical principles that are based on the Group’s values and the UN Global Compact.

The company operates in two business areas. Among Fazer Brands’ well-known delicacies are tasty baked goods and confectionery. Fazer Food Services offers good food and tailor-made services in contract catering. Fazer Group’s net sales in 2012 amounted to nearly 1.7 billion euros and the company has over 15,000 employees.

Fazer Mill & Mixes was created in 1971 on Sven Fazer’s initiative to secure the supply of flour of high quality and competitive price for Fazer’s bakeries. First, the mill delivered flour only to Fazer’s own production units, but in 1990 Fazer Mill & Mixes started sales to external customers as well as exports. This provided the mill a strong impetus for growth and since 2008 Fazer Mill & Mixes has been the largest commercial mill in Finland and the second largest one in the Nordic countries, milling wheat and rye flour.

The production of special mixes started in the 1990s and in 2003, the previous major investment was made in a new mixing plant. Fazer Mill & Mixes has grown into the biggest producer of special grain mixes (bakery mixes) in Northern Europe.

Some 15 per cent of the production of Fazer Mill & Mixes is exported. The annual milling quantities of wheat are around 100,000 tons and of rye, slightly over 50,000 tons.

 

 

Please contact us for any further information.

 

 

Other languages:

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8% of farms in Finland are certified organic

Especially beef and sheep producers have converted to organic farming in recent years, reports Evira who is responsible for control and certification of organic production in Finland. 4300 farms out of a total of 60000 farms in Finland are certified organic. In 2013 206000 hectares where certified which is 9% of the Finnish field area.

Organic farms are relatively large: 48 ha field compared to just 39 hectares on conventional farms. During recent years some big cereal farms have converted to organic farming and started with beef or sheep farming. Increasing organic acreage and production is the target of the Finnish government.

Organic animal farms are in average twice as large as organic farms in general. Field is needed so that required pasture areas are available for the animals. In average an organic farm has 40 dairy or suckling cows. The number animals on organic farms is also higher than on conventional farms which have in average 30 cows. Big organic farms need to partner with smaller grain-farms around them to secure enough fodder.

Protein is a challenge

 (Photographer: Erkki Poytaniemi)The increase in organic farms has also increased the demand of organic feed. The number of certified organic feed companies has doubled during the last two years. Several big industrial feed manufacturers have added organic feed in their program. There is huge demand for domestically produced organic rape seed as a source of protein feed. Organic rape seed is grown without neonicotinoids which are chemical pesticides that have created a huge debate recently for harming bees.

The most common sectors for certified organic manufacturers to operate are meat and bakery industries and vegetable and berry product manufacturers.

Source: Ruokatieto News 6.9.2013: KAHDEKSAN PROSENTTIA SUOMEN MAATILOISTA TUOTTAA LUOMUA.

Evira: Jo kahdeksan prosenttia Suomen maatiloista luomutuotannossa

 

Linkosuo Rye Crisps

The story about Linkosuo Rye Crisps is a story about Rye, how traditional Finnish bread adapted to modern times and the history of the family owned Linkosuo bakery company.

Organic rye in Karjalohja, Finland

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Traditional Rye Sour Bread drying on a pole at Peltolan Organic Farm in Vilppula, Finland.

Rye of course is the healthiest grain used for baking bread. The history of rye in Finland goes back over 2000 years and it was the predominant grain in Finland through the middle ages (replacing barley) until the early 20th century. Still a major part of bread in Finland is rye bread. The archetypes of rye bread is the “reikäleipä” or the round hole sour bread and the round sour rye bread “ruisleipä” with a simple recipe: rye, water, salt. So this is a sour bread with 100% wholemeal rye flour – no wheat and no yeast. The hole bread has the hole because in the old times the bread was hung on poles to dry close to the ceiling of the house. Western Finnish tradition stressed rare baking sessions combined with long-term storage. Of course the dry bread would be too hard to bite but it would be soaked in soups or milk. Nowadays with commercial bakeries baking fresh bread every day this tradition has largely disappeared.

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Linkosuo Rye Crisps in different sizes.

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Linkosuo Rye Chip with traditional organic Finnish "Bread-Cheese" and organic rucola..

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Linkosuo Rye Buttons with cheese, sour cucumber and paprika. All organic.

Linkosuo was the first to adapt the dry rye bread to commercial baking. The first version was just a thinner version of the traditional hole bread. It is not produced anymore because the bite was far too hard – even for Finnish teeth. The breakthrough innovation was to tear the upper part and bottom of the bread apart before drying resulting in a thinner and crispier dry bread known as “Varrasleipä”. Varrasleipä has been hugely popular in Finland for decades.

Finland, as the rest of the Western world, has developed a taste of snacking and this challenge was met by developing the hole of the traditional bread into a “Rye Button”. The Button could easily be used at home or f.ex. at parties as a kind of delicious cocktail snack by just putting butter, cheese, cutleries, vegetables etc on the Rye button.

The most recent modernization of the Rye Crisp was to develop it into a real snack – ready to eat as it is. This was achieved by adding some wheat to the dough to make the Rye Chips bite easier and crumblier and to flavor them. The non-organic range of flavored Rye Chips is already on the market in Finland but also the flavored organic Rye Chips range are in the pipeline. We have already tasted them and they are delicious! But the pure rye version “Aito Ruis” might still be the best. So keep posted and I will let you know as soon as they are available.

You can also already get Finnish Ruis – the fresh bread – in New York. Visit www.nordicbreads.com to see how two Finnish brothers bake real organic Finnish Rye Bread or Ruis Bread in Queens.

For more information about how healthy rye is visit:

The Rye info site of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland 

and

About Rye and Health

 

 

 

 

 

Positive mood in Finland

Finland definitely is not a leading country in terms of organic market development. On the contrary, with just over 1% marketshare Finland is one of the least developed organic markets in Western Europe (but 7,2% of the field area is organic). Why is that? There is no one clear explanation but until now the Finnish consumer has had great confidence in food produced in Finland. We are almost food self-sufficient and we believe that Finnish food is safe and pure. We feel the problems are elsewhere – food scares did not happen in this country.

An other possible reason could be that Finland is a leading market for functional food – ie food with nationally accepted health claims. An opposite example is Denmark, which is the leading country for organic food and on the other hand has been extemily strict on health claims making it virtually impossible for Danish manufacturers or importers to focus on functional food. Maybe therefore the industry has focused on organics.

In Finland the mood may now be changing in favor of organic food. Why? I think there are two main reasons: one relates to how the Finnish consumer perceives the food system and the other relates to EU rules on health claims. Let’s take the first one first:

The image of Finland – we think – is that of a modern scandinavian, industrialized high – tech (remember Nokia) nation in the extreme north. However compared to other European and even Nordic nations Finland was predominately agrarian very late. In my generation ( I’m 50) almost everyone even in downtown Helsinki would have had relatives in the countryside and as youngsters we have been helping these relatives at least in their hay works. So Finnish urbanism was very thin. We were loyal to our relatives in the countryside and trusted them to produce the best possible food for us. Becoming critical requires distance.

In the 21st century – while driving our car on the highway somewhere in the Finnish countryside – we tend to believe that the idyllic farms from when we were young are still there somewhere. We just need to take a smaller road and we would find that world ( but we don’t have time – we are in a hurry). In reality of course that world doesn’t exist. The idyllic farming systems of the 70’s are gone.

The point is that the younger generation is more distanced from farming and the kind of farming where they could be involved doesn’t exist. Finnish farms are still relatively small (average 40 ha) but much bigger than before, the farming regions have been segregated ( grain, pork and chicken in the south – dairy in the east and north) bigger and more efficient (=industrialized) animal production units and in many cases disconnection between farming and animal production units. Even I believe that the situation is worse in other parts of Europe – not to mention the (big bad) USA – but the point is that the trend – or even the aim – is the same. During the last few years we have had activists take video tapes secretly on animal farms showing how animals are suffering which has raised the awareness of ordinary people. We are realising that the romantic 70’s is not how our food is produced.

– Last year the Swedish book “Genuine Food” by Mats-Eric Nilsson was translated to Finnish and it has created a huge discussion about food additives – as it had in Sweden earlier. Until now the Finnish food industry has used additives liberally and the consumer hasn’t been aware of a problem. Now the industry is trying to get rid of additives.

– “Eating animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer was also translated to Finnish raising awareness of the problems in the animal industry. The books description of the American animal and meat industry however is so unbelievable ugly that I think people are not prepared to believe that anything as cruel as that could be going on in Finland. Therefore the book is not having the same effect. Maybe that is the sentiment everywhere in Europe (please comment) but I believe it is safe to say that the industrialized food system in Europe has much of the same problems. The main difference is that in Finland or Europe in general the small-scale infrastructure has not been lost and producers who don’t want to be part of the industrialized system can still find an other way. For me the main news in Foer’s book was that as a farmer in the USA you have no alternatives (I always keep wondering where this ”free market” is – apparently not in America).

– Also books from Michael Pollan have been translated earlier.

So the first point is that the illusion of romantic idyllic farming has evaporated and consumers are getting more critical towards the food system and are turning more to organics, local food etc.

Point 2: I think the EFSA rulings on health claims is affecting the way of thinking in the big Finnish food companies. Even until now organics was the “poor man’s health claim” but now health claims are becoming too difficult, too expensive and too time-consuming even for the bigger companies (which in Finland by global comparison are of course only medium sized). Health claims will be even more than before only for big multinationals and therefore Pollan’s advice to avoid ”healthy” products is even more true than before. They are often manipulated and filled with artificial ingredients that replace the “unhealthy” natural ones. Going organic is an easier way to getting the attention of the health-consious consumer. Also the Finnish food industry has now heard the acronym LOHAS. The proportion of Finnish consumers who have a LOHAS profile is huge. They just need to be told what it means to them as consumers (as consumerism) – that they should go organic.

As I mentioned earlier Finland is one of the leading markets for functional food. The word functional has a positive connotation to it in Finland while in many other countries you wouldn’t be advised to use the word at all. There are several succesfull functional foods that have been debeloped by Finnish manufacturers – some have even found success abroad including Xylitol (invented in Finland), Benecol, Gefilus etc. Even some small companies like Bioferme have been succesfull in developng functional foods and getting official recocgnition on the national level for their health claims. Bioferme is the only company who has succesfully combined functional claims with organic products. Their products are based on fermented oats and include both spoonable yoghurt type products and smoothy type beverages. The Bioferme products are both probiotic and prebiotic and the functional effects are absolutely natural. The officially accepted health claim its positive gut functions.

So the second point is that developing functional foods with officially accepted health claims is not really an option anymore for small and medium sized companies because of strict rulings by EFSA. Organics is the way to go if you want to get the attention of the health conscious LOHAS cosnumer. And more and more people think that the kind of natural healthiness that organic products represent is true healthiness.

Founding meeting of Pro Luomu ry on 22nd April.

So what is happening? We are feeling a positive mood towards organics among mainstream players in the food chain. The organic market is growing and many manufacturers are facing lack of raw-material. Last week a new organization was founded to promote the development of the organic food system. Pro Luomu ry (Pro Organics) has as its aim to start a large scale development program for the organic market and is seeking for political support so that during the next government period (we have elections in April) there would be substantial permanent funding for the program. All political parties seem to have a positive attitude. Major players in the Finnish food chain – including the two big supermarket multiples S-Group and Kesko (together controlling 80% of Finnish food retail) and the Finnish farmers union (MTK) joined the Association – among others. After the parlamentary elections we will see if those hopes become true from the political side. In any case players from different parts of the organic value chain have come together and started communicating. We shouldn’t depend only on politics even though it can be a great help.

What should such an organization do? Can it really affect the market development? For Finland to catch up with the leading organic markets in Europe we need tiger leaps in the market development. We need to see years when the organic market grows by 30-50% annually. We have seen that earlier in countries like the UK, Denmark and Sweden. Were those leaps caused by promotion of organics with public funds? I think not. It helps but other factors are more important.

Over 200 people attended the

I think there are two important points that have to be met: we need to have the positive mood, a demand resulting from broader trends and social issues etc – and you need availability so that consumers can easily buy. I believe that now we have the mood in Finland and I think the retailers are the first to be aware of it. The easiest way to increase organic marketshare is to increase the range of products that are available in supermarkets. However we need to develop the whole organic business environment so that there is room for the tiger leap. Nobody seems to know how to make the organic tiger leap – but one thing is for sure: we should not stand in its way.

Pure Finnish organic food exhibits at BioFach in Nuremberg

PRESS RELEASE
31 January 2011

Pure and clean organic food from Finland will be presented at the BioFach organic trade fair in Nuremberg, Germany on 16–19 February 2011. Finnish companies have joined forces with companies from other Nordic countries to exhibit their products at a joint pavilion.

Finland is known for its clean natural environment and ecological know-how. The organic products presented at BioFach are examples of the very best organic production and extensive research and development within the Finnish food industry. In Finland, technological know-how and understanding of ecological processes lay an excellent basis for clean organic food production.

”We believe that the pure Finnish natural environment, strong agricultural tradition and high technological know-how form the best possible basis for clean and safe organic food production for international markets”, says the Finnish representative of BioFach, Mr Arto Varanki from Spokesman Events Oy, who is coordinating the Nordic pavilion and Finnish participation.

”The joint Nordic stand of Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway is already a tradition at BioFach, and together the four countries are set to make an impact”, Varanki says.

Organic food production is also one of the top issues concerning the new Finnish national brand. The brand was released after initiation by Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb. Finnish companies joining BioFach have been devoted and energetic advocates of organic products for several years, commencing long before the release of the new national brand. Germany and other countries in Western Europe as well as the Far East are important trade partners for Finnish organic food producers.

“This year Finnish companies are focusing on consumer products more than before. We have several products based on pure Finnish raw-materials and speciality grains like rye, oats and buckwheat. We have free-from products and products with proven health benefits – all based on the rich food traditions and nature of Finland. We are eagerly looking forward to presenting them to the organic trade at BioFach”, says Organic Food Finland export manager Mr Erkki Pöytäniemi. Organic Food Finland is an export group including, amongst others, six of the Finnish BioFach exhibitors.

The Finnish exhibitors welcome visitors and journalists to their stands (joint stand 1/1-510, Pramia stand 5/5-122 and Viiniverla stand 4A/4A-420c).

For further information, please contact:
Mr Arto Varanki, Spokesman Events Oy, +358 40 544 5598, arto.varanki@spokesman.

Finnish Exhibitors at BioFach 2011:

Bioferme Ltd, Tuula von Zweygbergk, +358 500 505 600, www.bioferme.fi
organic probiotic oat based snacks

Finnish Cheese Company, Esa Luomanperä, +358 400 426 187, www.silva.fi
Silva organic process cheese, ILO organic hummus and freshly peeled organic garlic cloves

Helsinki Mills Ltd, Lhassan El Farkoussi, +358 50 462 4432, www.helsinkimills.fi
organic flour and flakes

Keskisen Mylly Ky, Markku Vitikainen, +358 3 471 6532, www.keskisenmylly.fi
organic buckwheat pasta and other buckwheat products

Linkosuo Bakery Ltd, Leena Järvenpää, +358 20 770 2400, www.linkosuo.fi
small crispy rye snacks and Varrasleipä crispy bread

Nordic Koivu Oy, Susanna Maaranen, + 358 40 523 7348, www.nordickoivu.com
Nordic birch sap

Pramia Oy, Minja Kivinen, +358 40 594 7770, www.pramia.fi
organic alcoholic beverages
stand 5/5-122

Senson Oy, Pasi Heikkilä, +358 500 352 868, www.senson.fi
organic malt extracts

Viiniverla Oy, Juha Kuronen, +358 40 530 9224, www.viiniverla.fi
organic berry wines
stand 4A/4A-420c

Virgino, Perttu Korolainen, + 358 400 770 654, www.virgino.fi
organic cold pressed rape seed oil

 

 

Organic Food Finland: Lhassan moves on.

Lhassan El Farkoussi started with Organic Food Finland in April 2006. Since September 2008 he worked as the Export Manager of Organic Food Finland under my supervision developing export for the OFF group of companies. Lhassan has proved to be an excellent salesman and communicator who is always keen to manage the sales process independently from start to end – while seeking for advice when necessary. He has a remarkable rate of positively closed sales – maybe partly because of his very positive attitude.

Helsinki Mills has now reached a stage where it makes sense to hire their own Export Manager. Lhassan was a natural choice as he had already worked with Helsinki Mills’ export and created a lot of new sales. Lhassan has started as Export Manager of Helsini Mill since 1st August 2010. I wish him success in his new career.

Organic Food Finland’s cooperation to help Helsinki Mills’ internationalization and export development will also still continue.

Erkki Pöytäniemi

ViiniVerla has redesigned itself



We have had very positive feed-back about the taste and quality of the ViiniVerla liqueurs, the sparkling wines, table wines and not least the Verlados – the calvados type spirit. But the design of the labels was lacking. Now that problem has been fixed with a new and modern design on all labels. The labels are also flexible in that the back-label can always be printed separately for each order thereby enabling labeling in any language and meeting the requirements of national legislation.

The uniqueness of the ViiniVerla products is in the nordic superberries that are used in their production. The liqueurs – which are not overly sweet as many liqueurs are – are based on cloudberry, cranberry, billberry, lingonberry and sea buckthorn among others. They have a delicious flavour of the wild picked berries.

On the other hand the sparkling wines are produced respecting the traditional Champagne method. Therefore it takes 3 years to produce which makes planning not a little challenging. The sparklings are made of gooseberry and different varieties of currants.

Also the table wines make great company for dinner. These are probably some of the best berry and fruit wines around.

The Verlados is a special story. It is made of Finnish organic apples using the Calvados method. Of course the word Calvados shouldn’t be used because this spirit is produced in Verla, not in France. But the product has received lots of praise from those who have tasted it. It is available as up to 8 years old.

www.organic-finland.com
www.viiniverla.fi

Organic Finnish food served at BioFach 17.–20.2.2010

Press Release 12.2.2010
Organic Finnish food served at BioFach 17.–20.2.2010
BioFach in Nuremberg, Germany, is the world’s leading exhibition for organic products. Finnish companies have joined forces with other Nordic countries to exhibit their products at a joint pavilion. The “Nordic Organics” area will also include an organic kitchen and restaurant hosted by the Finnish Ambassador Chef Kim Palhus.
“We will serve the best examples of Finnish organic food in the Nordic restaurant”, says Mr Kim Palhus, Ambassador Chef of Finland and the Chef of the Hanasaari Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre. “Everything will be prepared with pure Nordic ingredients. Despite the cold winter season, our Finnish kitchen boasts clean and savoury ingredients like root vegetables as well as grain and berry products and many other organic products of the Finnish BioFach-exhibitors. I’m happy to help promote the New Nordic Kitchen as well as the export and marketing efforts of Finnish organic food producers.”
Finnish organic food is among the best of the world
“All the Finnish companies joining the Nordic pavilion at BioFach are devoted and energetic advocates of organic products focussing on the development of their products and their activities. They are small and middle-sized companies who formed an export group”, says the CEO and Export Director of Organic Food Finland, Mr Erkki Pöytäniemi.
Organic Food Finland is an export group managing the overseas selling of organic goods from nine participating companies. Their trade volume to Nordic countries, Western Europe and the Far East amounts to nearly four million Euros.
The yearly export of Finnish organic goods totals some 14 million Euros. Grain is the most important product. About 6.5 per cent of the Finnish field area is currently certified as organic with the proportion being on the rise. Finland is among the three biggest producers of organic oats in Europe. The yield of organic oats and wheat is higher than needed for national consumption. The Finnish export of organic oats is among the highest in the world with prices being very competitive. Organic oats is exported increasingly in the form of flakes.
Come and see the unforgettable Nordic pavilion
For the first time at Biofach the Nordic expertise in organic production is presented on this scale. “The Nordic cooperation started last year with Finland and Sweden having a common stand. After long negotiations we also got Denmark and Norway to join us. Denmark is one of the most important organic producers in Europe and together all the four countries are set to make an impact”, says the Finnish representative of BioFach, Mr Arto Varanki from Spokesman Events Oy, who coordinates the Nordic pavilion and the Finnish participation.
“The Nordic pavilion is an excellent approach for Finnish companies to present themselves to international markets and to network with visitors and other exhibitors. For BioFach visitors the Nordic pavilion is a unique concept well worth visiting, particularly with its magnificent kitchen and restaurant offering top quality organic goods”, Varanki points out.
BioFach is now in its 2ist year. Last year it brought together 2,733 exhibitors and 46,771 trade visitors from 119 countries.
The Finnish exhibitors welcome journalists to their stands (joint stand 1-410 and Viiniverla stand 4A-415) as well as to the Nordic kitchen and restaurant (stand 1-604).
For further information please contact:
Mr Erkki Pöytäniemi, Organic Food Finland, +358 50 550 5225, erkki@organic-finland.com
Mr Arto Varanki, Spokesman Events Oy, +358 40 544 5598, arto.varanki@spokesman.fi
Kim Palhus, Hanasaari, +358 40 484 8123, kim.palhus@hanaholmen.fi
——————————————————————————————————————————————
The Finnish Exhibitors at BioFach 2010:
E. Boström Ltd, Annika Boström, +358 40 5462888, www.bostrom.fi
– organic muffins
Greenfinn’s Ltd, Kari Saari, +358 6 861 2540, www.greenfinns.com
– organic 100 % juices from Nordic berries
Helsinki Mills Ltd, Ulla Heiskanen, + 358 9 2716 9225, www.helsinginmylly.fi
– organic flour and flakes
Keskisen Mylly Ltd, Markku Vitikainen, +358 3 471 6532, www.keskisenmylly.fi
– organic buckwheat pasta and other buckwheat products
Kiantama Ltd, Annikki Kyllönen, +358 201 442 251, www.kiantama.fi
– organic Nordic berries
Napapiiri Organics, Marja Nuora, +358 50 586 2697, www.napapiiri-organics.com
– organic jams
Nordic Koivu Ltd, Susanna Maaranen, + 358 40 523 7348, www.nordickoivu.com
– organic Nordic birch sap for consumers and industry
Viiniverla Ltd, Juha Kuronen, +358 40 530 9224, www.viiniverla.fi
– organic berry wines
– stand nr 415 is situated in hall 4A
Virgino Ltd, Perttu Korolainen, +358 750 0300 100, www.virgino.fi
– organic cold pressed rape seed oil

Finland, the prime source of pure organic food

When talking about farming in Finland we always like to point out that FInland is the northern-most country to be self-sufficient in basic food-stuffs. Finns have survived in these harsh conditions through history and so have our cultivated plants and our animals. But actually the summers are not harsh at all, they are quite nice although a little short. On the other hand the sun shines around the clock and plants just keep growing.

It is the winters that were difficult for the people and animals in the old times – and still are for the pests. Finland is a country which is pure in nature and sparsely populated and where pests are killed by the winters. Therefore Finns consider Finnish food to be practically organic as it is. Of course this is not quite true. To be organic a farmer needs to follow the organic farming method f.ex. not using chemical fertilizers or pesticides and the farm must be certified. And actually quite a few are: 6,5% of the Finnish field area is certified organic – whcih is one of the highest figures in the world. On top of that Finland has the largest area of certified organic picking area for wild organic berries – 7 million hectares!

 

So what kind of organic products can you expect to find from Finland? For organics the most important line of production is grain. Finland is one of the biggest producers of organic oats and is well known for the excellent quality of its oats. Oats are a highly recommended part of a diet as it is one of the few products with an EFSA-accepted (European Food Safety Authority) health claim. Oat bran is becomming more and more of a hype in many markets. Finland also produces high quality spring wheat and rye. Finland has a rich bread culture combining western and eastern influences and the tradition of sour rye bread is still alive and well. It can be found as fresh bread in many forms as well as dried flat-bread. Rye flatbread has been one of the biggest succes stories for organic exports from Finland. Other cereal based products are f.ex. organic muffins and rye crisps and rye chips. Also Finnish wheat is of excellent quality.

 

The fruits of Finland are our berries. Both wild and cultivated. When we in Finland say wild berries, we really mean wild berries growing in the nature and hand-picked without any manipulation of the environment. There are several eadible berries growing in the wild of which the commercially most important are blilberry – also called blueberry – (Vaccinium myrtillus) and lingonberry (V. vitis-idaea) followed by cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus), cranberry (V. oxycoccos) and crowberry (Empetrum nigrum). Black curant and other currants are the most important cultivated berries while strawberry is cultivated for the fresh-market. Sea buckthorn is found wild on the coast-line but also cultivated. It is fair to say that fruits are extremily healthy and in particular the berries from the north are even more healthy. Generally wild berries are healthier than cultivated berries. They have lower yield but higher content of beneficial substancies. F.ex. wild bilberries have multiple times more healthy substancies compared to the cultivated varities. Lingonberry is expected to become the next superberry. Organic berries are available in many forms: frozen, concentrates, dried etc for the industry or made into consumer products like juices and jams for the consumer or even more sophisticated – sparkling wines and liqueurs.

 

 

There is an abundance of other organic products from Finland always building on the qualities of the pure nature, rich tradition or modern technology or a combination of all. Birch sap is linked to the nature and traditional medicine while rape seed oil has proven health benefits and the berry dessert ”kiisseli” is a traditional food that in its modern format is an excellant product for hikers who need to carry their food with them to the wilderness.

19% growth in the Finnish organic market in 2008

The market for organic food in Finland experienced slow growth for several years but in 2007 it grew by 10% and the last figures from Nielsen show that in 2008 the market grew by a healthy 19%. The biggest growth was in the milk and meat sectors where growth was more than 40%. By market share the most popular products are still vegetable oils and eggs. The market is estimated to be 74 M€, so it lags far behind Denmark and Sweden. The target in the Organic Action Plan is to reach 6% by 2015. That would be 6 times more than 2008 but still less than where Denmark already is.