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Agriculture in Finland

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02/03/2017

Finland is the world’s northernmost agricultural country. Finnish farmlands reach from the 60th latitude to north of the Arctic Circle. Although the growing season is short, Finland has good possibilities to produce tasty food with high food safety.

On the southwestern coast, the growing season can exceed 185 days, but in northernmost Lapland it is less than 105 days. The average temperature for the whole year varies in Finland between +5°C in the warm areas and -2°C in the cold areas. The growing season starts in April-May and ends in August-October. July is the warmest month, and January-February are the coldest.

In Southern Finland, the grazing season of cows lasts four to five months, in the north three to four.


Clean air and thousands of lakes

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Finland has ample fresh air and clean water. Our sparsely populated country has little traffic and thus also low volumes of emissions from traffic jams. The hard frosts control plant diseases and kill pests, and that is why our pesticide use is lower than in rest of Europe.

We maintain the knowhow in arctic agriculture in Finland. We have bred varieties that do well in our cool and light summers. They manage to ripen during the short growing season. As an example, Finnish grain is in demand worldwide, thanks to its special characteristics and quality. Finland is one of the biggest producers and exporters of oats in the world.

We take good care of our livestock and production environment. We know how to keep animal diseases at bay. In Finland, antibiotics are used only to sick animals, not as a precaution. Finnish dairy, egg and meat products are free of salmonella. In Finland piglets keep their tails and hens and broilers their beaks. Our methods of producing food is a model for the whole globe.

Key statistics

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•  Finland has 48,000 farms with an average arable area of 47 hectares. Of these, about 12 % are organic farms. 

•  Dairy farming is the largest agricultural sector in terms of turnover. The agricultural sales revenue total was EUR 2.2 billion, of which milk 
accounts for 40 %.  

•  In terms of land use grain production is the largest sector in Finland. Next comes production of other crops and grassland.  

•  Almost 90 % of Finnish farms belong to an official agri-environmental programme.  

•  The average age of farmers is 52 years. Our farmers are young compared to European colleagues. 

•  Agriculture and horticulture provide employment for 100,000 people. The food sector employs 240,000 people, from production input industry to retailing. 

•  The retail market in Finland is highly concentrated. The two biggest retailers have a market share of 83 %. 

•  Finland has long traditions in plant and animal breeding. Local breeding has been vital for the evolving local food production and in the future, it will respond to the new challenges of farming. 

Source: Luke, Statistics Finland, Kantar TNS 2017

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