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Release 15.04.2021

From carbon-neutrality to carbon-negativity – Sustainable Finnish food and beverage innovations grow foothold in Sweden

Climate change is accelerating the transition towards sustainable food production both in Finland and abroad, and Finland is on its way to becoming one of the first countries to have a completely transparent, safe and responsible food chain. Sustainable Finnish food and beverage innovations continue to strengthen their presence in the Swedish market while Sweden holds its position as the biggest export market for Finnish food products.

Close geographical location and shared Nordic values make Sweden an attractive export market for Finnish companies. In fact, Sweden is the largest market for Finnish food and beverage exports, adding up to total 322,7 million euros in 2020. The most important export product categories include dairy products (117,8M€), confectionary (48,6M€), alcohol and beverages (35,5M€) and meat products (30,6M€).

In addition to the strong foothold in the dairy, meat and beverage sectors, Finland is a forerunner in healthy cereal products using oats, rye, and barley, as well as a leading expert in functional foods. Finnish berry products have successfully matured, including innovations such as alcohol beverages made with berries.

Besides food export between the two countries, Finland and Sweden have joined their forces in food exports to more remote markets. Promoting the Nordic food offering together is especially beneficial outside Europe, for example in East Asia.

“Finland and Sweden share the same values, lifestyle and taste for innovative food that is good for the people and for the environment. With sustainability in the focus, Finland offers a range of naturally delicious, pure and healthy food products that have great potential in the Swedish market,” says Esa Wrang, Head of the Food from Finland program at Business Finland, Finland’s trade, investment and travel promotion and innovation funding organization. “Furthermore, the close geographical location and cultural similarities advocate the benefits of collaboration in food exports to more remote markets. Finland and Sweden cooperate extensively in promoting the Nordic food offering together around the world,” Wrang continues.

Finnish food and beverages industry ranks high in sustainability

The Finnish food industry strives for carbon neutrality and aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by 2035. The climate roadmap for primary production and low-carbon roadmaps for the food industry and the grocery trade were introduced in 2020.

Finnish food companies have adopted a variety of means in order to meet the sustainability goals by making use of the by-products of food production and reducing losses, using bioenergy, optimizing transport and choosing more environmentally friendly packaging materials.

“Finnish food production strives for ecologically sustainable solutions. Short production chains guarantee transparency in both production conditions and production methods. Finnish food, especially local food, is based on the recycling of nutrients between production and consumption and the utilization of local energy resources. At its best, it is a carbon-neutral local economy where environmental emissions are minimized. The operators in the Finnish food chain are very much committed to achieving national and international climate goals. Many of the food export companies are already carbon neutral and now we’ve even welcomed the first carbon-negative products,” Wrang says.

Finnish food production strives for the healthcare and welfare of farm animals. The usage of antibiotics for farm animals in Finland is extremely low and is only allowed in the treatment of diseases. Additionally, the use of pesticides for plant production is very low compared to the EU average. “The strength of the Finnish food sector is responsibility. Thanks to our responsible production methods, the safety of Finnish food is top notch,” says Wrang.

Business Finland, together with the Embassy of Finland in Sweden, organized a press event on Wednesday April 14th as a part of an online delegation program of the Team Finland network, connecting the Finnish food and beverage industry with the Swedish partners. The virtual delegation visit includes the following food and beverage companies from Finland:

65 Oats by Kinnusen Mylly OY, gluten-free oat ingredients
Hartwall, one of the largest beverage companies in Finland
Helsinki Mills, carbon-neutral grain and oat products
Helsinki Wildfoods Oy/ METTÄ nordic, flavours from the Nordic forests
Kiantama Oy/Biokia, berry products and raw material for food and cosmetics industry
Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomatehdas Oy, craft brewery awarded for innovation and quality products
Oy Weekend Snacks Ltd, tasty and healthier snacks for various regimes
Porokylän Leipomo/ O'love, delicious gluten-free oat biscuits and various bakery products
Real Snacks Oy, gluten-free oat snacks that are high in fibre and low in fat
Suomisen Maito Oy, home of the CO2-negative Jymy ice cream
Tenu Ventures Ltd, unforgettable spirits
TwoDads Ltd., healthy juices, breakfast cereals and smoothies for kids

Link to the mediabank

Read more about Food from Finland program

Contact information

Mia Eloranta, PR & Media Manager
Business Finland
Mobile: +358 50 337 2026
mia.eloranta(at)businessfinland.fi

Esa Wrang, Head of Food from Finland program 
Business Finland
Mobile: +358 400 243 076
esa.wrang(at)businessfinland.fi

Business Finland is the Finnish government organization for innovation funding and trade, travel and investment promotion. Business Finland’s 750 experts work in 44 offices globally and in 16 regional offices around Finland. Business Finland is part of the Team Finland network. www.businessfinland.com.