Organic Finland @ expo west

At BioFach in Germany 2 weeks ago I realised I had visited the show 21 consecutive years and most years exhibiting. Now I am heading to expo west in Anaheim, CA, which is a very different show but nevertheless the nro 1 show for organics in North America. This is only the 3rd time in a row to visit expo west but I’ve been there a couple of times in previous years so probably my 6th visit there.082814_EngredeaQ

I work predominantly with 2 products: the organic potato starch from Finnamyl Ltd and Aloja Starkelsen Ltd /organicpotatostarch.com and organic oats from Fazer Mill&Mixes.

Our organic potato starch has been distributed in North America for a few years now by Ciranda Inc. and we are just now starting with the organic oats after finalising the qualification process to be sure everything goes right when it is launched. You will find Ciranda Inc at expo west – or more precisely at engredea in Hall A, Booth 344. Engredea is the ingredients side show linked to expo west.

Organic potato starch is a remarkable product in terms of natural functionality. With functionality we mean water binding, viscosity forming, moisture barrier, gluing, carrier etc. It has the best functionality among the major native starches and in many applications the only starch that offers functionality. This is because it has the best water binding and viscosity creating capacity but even more because it functions in lower EW15_FaviconLogotemperatures than f.ex. corn or tapioca starch. In many cases it is the only native starch that functions in the temperatures that are relevant in the food process. This becomes very interesting when you need to develop organic products where on the conventional side you would use modified starches or other hydrocolloids. Suddenly you need to understand more about native starches than what is necessary in the mainstream industry. For further flexibility in designing the process we also offer cold-swelling (pre-gel) organic potato starch. We can offer application support in your specific product development cases. On the consumer market we are seeing increasing interest in potato starch as the best source of resistant starch. Come and visit us at Ciranda’s booth to learn more!logo

From a North-American perspective oats comes mostly from the northern parts of the continent, Canada being the main producer. Likewise in Europe oats is mainly produced in Northern Europe and Finland is the biggest producer of organic oats in Europe. With a small population of only 5 million we cannot eat it all, so it has always been also exported. The popularity of oats has been increasing in recent years all over the world – and for a good reason. It is tasty, versatile to use and healthy. Oat betaglucan contributes to lowering blood cholesterol levels, which is a recognised health claim both in USA (FDA) and in the EU (EFSA). Oats is naturally gluten-free although most operators can not guarantee it due to contamination with wheat along the value-chain. However for someone who is not celiac diagnosed but follows a gluten-free diet for well-being, oats is certainly a safe choice. (Fazer oats are not certified gluten-free.) Through Ciranda Inc. we offer oat flakes (rolled oats), steel-cut oats and oat flour to the North American market and we hope to contribute to this growing market.  An other reason to come and visit us at Ciranda’s booth and learn more!

Both the organic potato starch and organic oats enter the North American market based on the EU-USA organic equivalence agreement. For organic potato starch we can offer third countries also NOP certified organic potato starch. If you are NOP certified in a third country this enables you to use our organic potato starch in your NOP certified products.

I will be present through the whole expo west -show, but feel free to contact me for arranging a meeting. Email erkki (at) organic-finland.com

 

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:

luomu kaurahiutale, ekologiska havre flingor, flocons d’avoine bio, Økologiske havreflager, økologiske havregryn, Bio-Haferflocken, biologische havervlokken, copos de avena ecológicos, fiocchi di avena biologici, Ekologiczne płatki owsiane, Ekologické ovesné vločky, органические хлопья овсяные, オーガニック認定 オートミール, 有機燕麥片

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

 

Sector Group Organic Processing and EduOFB meeting in Espoo, Finland 11.-12. June 2012

 In the beginning of June a group of key players in the international organic food processing sector arrived in Helsinki. This was due to Organic Food Finland having arranged in its turn the IFOAM EU Group SGOP (Sector Group Organic Processing) meeting in Espoo.

The participants were from AoeL, BioNext/VBP, Polska Ecologica, Synabio and the Soil Association. (Andrzej can add topics of the meeting if necessary.) Apart from the meeting the program included real Finnish smoke sauna on a lakeside in the nearby Nuuksio National Park and enjoying good food at the organic restaurants of Helsinki.
For the second day of the meeting Organic Food Finland had organised a afternoon seminar for Finnish organic industry players. The main purpose of the seminar was for key players in the Finnish organic sector to learn to know about the IFOAM EU Group activities and activities of the organic industry associations in different member states. In Finland the awareness of what kind of cooperation is necessary within the organic industry nationally and in the EU is low and therefor also participation in EU networks is low. IFOAM has only 3 members from Finland.
The legislation affecting organic products and industry is decided on the EU level. Therefore manufacturers should not wait passively what is decided in Brussels, AoeL’s Alexander Beck stressed to the Finnish seminar audience. Together with the organic industry players in other member states it is possible to have an influence already when new policies are planned.
Yvonne Henkel from AoeL went into describing the details of decision making procedures in the EU. Also she stressed that with deepening international cooperation between stake holders it is possible to bring common goals forward in the Union’s decision making. Often the best partners  for this are to be found with similar industry players in other countries.
Bavo van den Idsert, the Manager of Dutch BioNext and vice president of Ifoam EU Group, gave practical examples of the need for international cooperation in organic food processing. For example there are no recognised international practises for investigating the sources of pesticide residues in organic products or about measures that should be taken in residue cases. The risk is an inefficient control mechanism leading to erosion of consumer confidence. Therefore the industry itself has proposed guidelines within Ifoam EU Group.
The Finnish audience was able to learn about how international cooperation between players in residue cases has developed. The corner-stones of organics – traceability and transparency – can be achieved only by means of international cooperation and activity of the stake holders themselves, van den Idsert stressed.

Claire Largier from the French association Synabio highlighted in her presentation how their activities benefit their membership. On a national level development of the sector becomes more proactive and comprehensive when structures for cooperation exist in the form of an industry association. Thereby also influencing on EU and international levels becomes more efficient when everyone is aware of what is in the pipeline and it is possible to formulate a common position.

As an example of Synabio activities – which could also inspire other countries – Largier presented the Bioenteprisedurable tool for SME’s. Bioenteprisedurable enables companies to assess their activities from the point of view of different sustainability factors. Further the tool also enables the companies to communicate about the sustainability and responsibility of their activities.

Finally possibilities for Finland to participate better in international cooperation was discussed. In his presentation Erkki Pöytäniemi from Organic Food Finland highlighted different possibilities focusing mainly on the opportunity for the recently founded Pro Luomu organisation to have a role in this respect. The purpose of Pro Luomu is to develop the whole organic value chain in Finland and therefore international cooperation should be in a key position in its activities. The Manager of Pro Luomu, Marja-Riitta Kottila, was present in the seminar and was willing to study further Pro Luomu’s possibilities to be active in this field.

 

Marja Nuora and Erkki Pöytäniemi, Organic Food Finland