Local food – but of course!
Local food is one of the priorities of Finnish food policy. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has prepared a Local Food Programme in collaboration with different stakeholders. It was adopted as a Government Resolution on 16 May 2013.
The Resolution set the following targets for developing the Finnish local food sector by 2020:
- diversifying and increasing local food production to meet the demand and raising the value added of local food
- improving the opportunities of small-scale food processing and sale through legislation and advice
- increasing the share of local food in public procurement through better procurement skills and quality criteria
- improving the opportunities in primary production
- enhancing closer cooperation between actors in the local food sector
- raising the appreciation of food and actors in the food chain.
The Local Food Programme is implemented as a government programme through the administrative means available, particularly through measures concerning legislation and support schemes. The programme objectives and strategic outlines also create a foundation and value added to development work by other operators in the local food chain.
Local food is locally produced
In the Local Food Programme, local food means locally-produced food that promotes the local economy, employment and food culture of the region concerned, has been produced and processed from raw material of that region, and is marketed and consumed in that region. In this context, region means the traditional ‘maakunta’ or a corresponding or smaller regional entity.
The measures of the Local Food Programme also cover special food products with the most significant markets locally but which are also sold through various channels in other parts of Finland. These products are mainly produced by small companies.
The Local Food Programme also highlights short supply chains. Local food and the local origin and supply of food relate, in particular, to short supply chains. They are defined by a small number of actors in the chain, close cooperation between actors, growth of the local economy, and geographical and social contacts between producers and consumers.
Local Food Programme on Facebook (in Finnish)
“Local food – but of course!” blog (in Finnish)