MTK carries out extensive supervision of interests. In addition to agricultural and forest policy, the organisation aims to promote rural entrepreneurship. In environmental and land policy matters, MTK acts in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. Promotion of consumer interests has become a new area of operations for MTK: in 2007, MTK established the post of Ombudsman for Food Culture with the task of promoting and fostering Finnish cuisine.
The most important tool of MTK is expertise. With its expertise, the organisation has an impact on the international and national level. The key tasks of the Central Union include political and social supervision of interests: representing the interests of members in agricultural and forest issues, the concerns of businesses, taxation, financing and legal matters, environmental and land policy, and social policy.
MTK aims to ensure that the EU agricultural policy will enable agriculture based on family farms, guaranteeing a reasonable standard of living for farmers also in the future. Finnish agriculture that respects people, animals and the environment is also needed in the expanded European Union.
Finland is a land of family forests. Two-thirds of the Finnish forests are owned and managed by private individuals. MTK aims to promote the economic viability of family forestry by having an influence on the forest and economic policy. The organisations for forest owners look after the regional interests. The Forest Management Associations serve forest owners in practical forestry issues and look after the interests of forest owners at the local level.
An increasing number of MTK members are rural entrepreneurs. In addition to basic agriculture, one in three farms has other business operations bringing in a significant income. Rural entrepreneurship in MTK’s activities includes other business operations carried out in connection with agricultural and forestry farms and the refining of the tangible and intangible resources of the farms into saleable services and products. Rural entrepreneurs have diverse lines of business. These include tourism, machine contracting, bioenergy and the horse industry.
MTK also aims to participate in environmental and land policy issues. In terms of land use, supervising the land owners’ rights is one of our key areas. In addition to looking after the interests of entrepreneurs, active participation in nature conservation is emphasised in environmental policy these days. Sustainable agriculture is economical, preserving nature values and promoting social and cultural well-being between people. People making their living from nature have been aware of the importance of the environment for a long time. It has been one of their principles to respect nature and foster its productivity.