Food from Finland at BioFach 2015
by Kai Kreuzer (comments: 0)
Organics in Finland are getting stronger from year to year. At the upcoming BioFach (11-14.2.2015) in Nuremburg/Germany, 7 Finnish food companies are united in a national pavilion organized by Finpro. Under the Food from Finland banner, the Finnish joint stand in Hall 5 (5-461, 5-471 and 5-472, measuring 88 m²) will present not only oats and berry products, for which Finland is well known, but also cheese, spreads, potato starch, mueslis, breakfast brans, chicken meat and bread. Finnish top chef Kim Palhus will be on the stand creating Finnish culinary treats for visitors interested in the Finnish cuisine – very much a part of “New Nordic Food”. There will be a Finnish stand party on Thursday evening.
In the last two years, Organic-Market.Info informed its readers in a couple of articles about the organic industry and the organic retail sector of this Nordic country. Please find an overview here.
Photo Kai Kreuzer: More and more organic products are manufactured in Finnland
Organic processor in Finland. Photo Kai Kreuzer
Finland is an agricultural country with 9 % of its farmed land managed organically, so there is a sufficient quantity of cereals for processing. With almost 8 million hectares, Finland has the largest certified organic wild picking area in the world.
The main organic product of Finland is oats, which develop a particularly high quality and high yields in our cool summers with their extra long Nordic days. Not only oats but also wheat and rye play an important role in Finland. Finns eat a lot of traditional sour-dough rye bread. From these three organic cereals, companies produce and market various delicious products, including milled and bakery goods. At BioFach 2015 two Finnish mills, Fazer Mill & Mixes, which is the biggest milling company in Finland, and Helsinki Mills, which is the market leader for organic flakes and flours in Finland, will present their organic products. Additionally, the bakery Pekan Leipä will present traditional sour-dough rye bread to the market. (Photo: Tero Hirvi von Fazer explains the flow of different grains in the mill)
Fazer Mill & Mixes takes the oats of 150 Finnish organic farmers and manufactures from them around a dozen different organic products for both the domestic market and export. Investing in a new oats mill with the best technology, Fazer entered the market with organic oat flakes in 2013, although they had started producing organic rye flour as early as 1986 (see our recent report).
“The main focus at BioFach 2015 will be on organic oat flakes, where Fazer Mill&Mixes aims to be a world leader. Other oat products (de-hulled oats, steel-cut oats, oat bran, oat flour) and rye fibre will also be presented,” explains Erkki Pöytäniemi from Organic Food Finland, representing both Fazer Mills & Mixes and Finnamyl. (Photo: healthy muesli with fresh fruit)
The main export products from Helsinki Mills are Organic Oat flakes and Oat Bran. The company manufactures organic oat porridges and mueslis with tasty dried Nordic berries and fruit. They are portion-packed, taste delicious and are quick to prepare. Their latest launch is a tasty extruded oat-based Breakfast Crisp. Their fibre-rich oat bran crackers have a delicious mild taste and are widely exported. The company has its headquarters, a large-scale flour mill and modern warehouse in Järvenpää, 45 km north of the Finnish capital. "We have been one of the major exporters of organic oat products worldwide for years,” says the company’s CEO Miska Kuusela. The early history of Helsinki Mills dates all the way back to the 16th century when ancestors of the founding family started milling grains in Estonia. A progressive factory specializing in flakes and specialty products operates in Vaasa on the west coast of Finland. Another advanced plant and full subsidiary specializes in extruded cereal products and operates in the same area.
The story of Pekan Leipä in Heinola, Southern Finland, goes back to 1888. It is a typical regional bakery catering for the local market with a large range of delicious products, including typical Finnish sour-dough rye bread. In 2003, their export activities started with supplying the German market with organic Finnish rye portion bread. The product was so popular that in 2008 a separate organic bakery was built in Heinola, incorporating modern baking equipment like the packaging line for protective atmosphere packing that enables longer shelf life. Now the Pekan Leipä range includes the typical Finnish Rye Portion Bread as well as Wheat Bread, Rye-Oats Bread and Wheat Flat Bread – another traditional Finnish bread format. All the breads are portion breads that are easy to toast.
One of the other main organic products exported from Finland is organic potato starch, which is produced by Finnamyl. An important item if you think of red fruit jelly, sauces and soups which are often thickened with starch made from potatoes. But you also find it in blancmange, bread, biscuits, cakes, sweets, instant meals and meat products, where it is used as the best water-binding agent. In most applications potato starch has the best functionality. Offering customers free application support is a key activity for the company. Organic cold-swelling potato starch and organic baking powder have been developed together with Aloja Starkelsen in Latvia under the label of organicpotatostarch.com. Also NOP-certified organic potato starch is available for third countries.
Finnamyl is located about 150 km to the north-west of Helsinki, where 3,000 t of organic potatoes were supplied by contract farmers in the region in 2014. (You can read the 2013 Report here)
"Since 2012, organic potato starch has increased by 50%. In December 2014, Finnamyl was FSSC 22000 certified, a highly renowned food security management system. In the 2015 campaign also, protein will be extracted from the potato juice for the first time," explains export manager Erkki Pöytäniemi.
Deep in the heartlands of the Finnish berry growing region lies Kiantama Ltd. Kiantama is specialized for processing of wild berries. Kiantama produces and developes high quality berry products and raw material for food, health supplement and cosmetics industries. “Our mission is to create innovative ways to use wild and hand-picked forest berries growing in the Nordic wilderness,” explains Vernu Vasunta, CEO of the company. Studies show that wild berries growing in northern latitudes are exceptionally rich in vitamins, flavonoids, carotenoids, antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients. Because of these health effects, Nordic Wild Berries™ are regarded as highly nutritious. Kiantama has an ISO 26000 certificate, guidance on social responsibility and ISO 22 000. Additional certifications are Kosher and Halal as well as JAS Organic (Japanese Agricultural Standard). Products are based mainly on bilberry, lingonberry, mountain bilberry, cranberry and cloudberry. Products are IQF berries, purées, NFC juices, juice concentrates, syrups, dried and infused berries, berry powders and berry crushes.
Luomunokka is an organic farmer-owned start-up specialised in producing and marketing organic poultry meat. The founder Arto Jokinen has a long history in developing the organic meat market in Finland. L’Uomu Nokka has built the whole value chain for organic broiler chicken meat in Finland. The chickens are currently raised on three farms. The brand “L’Uomu Nokka” means “organic beak”, with a French twist for high quality. The chicken breed uses French Hubbard CY, which adapts well to organic production. It is a slow-growing breed with sturdy health. The chickens are reared on organic farms where they have a lot of space and can move about freely. They have natural light and access to hay, straw, seeds and different kinds of stimuli and are able to dig. At 6 weeks old, they get access to an outside yard. The organic chickens are fed organic feed which is mainly produced on-farm. Outside they can also eat grass and any other treats they find. Three frozen products are currently available: organic whole chicken, organic chicken leg and organic chicken breast. L’Uomu Nokka is going to develop additional products in the range.
Finnish Cheese Company (FCC), located in Jämsa in central Finland, is the country’s only specialised manufacturer of gourmet spreads. The products include cheese spreads and several tasty vegetarian hummus spreads. From the outset, FCC has also included organic products in its range and the company has been a pioneer in the Finnish organic cheese market. Currently the organic range includes one organic cheese spread and five organic hummus spreads (one natural and four flavoured). The Finnish Cheese Company is already exporting its products to countries such as the United States, Spain, France, Israel and Estonia.
The Finnish food exporting programme "Food from Finland" aims to double Finnish food exports to around €3 billion by 2020. The strategic focus areas of the programme are preparing the Finnish food companies to go international, seeking out new market opportunities and organizing “Food from Finland” marketing campaigns and promotions internationally. Organic food is one of the focus areas of this programme. (Finnish stand at Biofach a couple of years ago)
General information on organic products from Finland
Organic Finland http://organic-finland.com/en/organics-in-finland/
Pro Luomu http://proluomu.fi/about-pro-luomu/
Food from Finland www.foodfromfinland.com
The Finnish joint stand at BioFach 2015 is in Hall 5 (5-461, 5-471 and 5-472).