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Local food – but of course!

Local food is one of the priorities of Finnish food policy. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry prepared a Local Food Programme in collaboration with different stakeholders. It was adopted as a Government Resolution on 16 May 2013. Programme has been updated in spring 2021. The updated Programme in English.

Objectives of the Programme are:

  1. to diversify local food production and to increase it to meet the demand, to enable the development of new sales and distribution channels, and to increase the degree of processing of local foods 
  2. to improve opportunities for small-scale food processing and sales through legislation, advice and research
  3. to increase the share of local foods in public procurement by improving procurement competence, qualitative criteria and procurement requirements
  4. to intensify cooperation between actors in the local food sector 
  5. to increase the appreciation and visibility of food and food chain actors.

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.

An original Local Food Programme dating from 2013.

Local Food Programme on Facebook (in Finnish)

“Local food – but of course!” blog (in Finnish)

 

Further information

Kirsi Viljanen, Senior Specialist 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ruokaosasto, Markkinayksikkö 0295162142