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Finland: Organics grow at record high

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

The organic market in Finland is growing rapidly. The organic market retail value will reach about 182 million euros this year, up from 120 million euros in 2011 and from 82 million euros in 2010, Yle News reports. This means that consumers in Finland will have spent about 50% more on organics by the end of the year than last year and that the market grew by 40 – 50% for two years in a row. Other sources estimate the growth to be 20-30% (Pro Luomu). The share of organic products in retail sales is, however, less than 2%. The most popular organic products are eggs, dairy products, vegetables and fruit as well as dry foods such as flour. 

Ethics, animal welfare and discussions on additives have probably strengthened the interest in organics. But market growth is also due to the fact that the offer of organics has been increased, according to the association Pro Luomu's (Pro Organic) Executive Director Marja-Riitta Kottila. The Finnish Coop S-Group, the market leader in Finnish food retail, is an important example for this. Anne-Marie Wallenius, S-Group’s director in the Helsinki metropolitan area confirmed that the stores are in the direction of adding organic items.
Still, there are some challenges to face. Jari Etelälahti from “Eat and Joy”, a small supermarket with service points, claims that there are not enough abattoirs that could supply him or that producers could use for direct sale. According to Organic Food Finland, there are also some problems earlier in the chain: Calves from organic dairy farms end up on conventional beef farms and there are also some farms where fields are organic but animals are not since the requirements on animal sheds would mean too big investments for the farmers. Also, there is still a lack of organic protein fodder. So far, demand for organic meat in Finland is higher than supply.



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