MTK as a responsible actor

Responsible social advocacy

Actions based on values – expertise, openness and willingness to co-operate

The performance of MTK and its representatives is based on willingness to co-operate with stakeholders. MTK’s approach relies on its wide expertise combined with the ability to work together with various and different types of stakeholder groups to move things forward and to solve problems. Its expertise is founded on proven knowledge and solid practical experience. The organisation is prepared to openly express its well-founded views in both internal work within the organisation and in the public debate.

The organisation consists of four operational areas of responsibility:  i)  rural economy, ii) social advocacy, iii) organisational activities, and iv) the administration of the organisation.

Sustainable development

Sustainable development takes into account environmental, social, cultural and economic sustainability in an equitable manner. Acting in compliance with sustainable development (of rural areas) enables also well-being and entrepreneurial opportunities for future generations. We promote well-being with rural economic activities. We produce Finnish food, wood, fuel, as well as welfare and recreational services.

Global responsibility

MTK takes global responsibility through active participation in international organisations, forums and development co-operation projects. Our key partners among international organisations are the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) and the International Family Forestry Alliance (IFFA), which respectively support family farming in agriculture and forestry on a global scale.

MTK strives to reduce poverty and inequality in developing countries as a member of the Finnish Agri-Agency for Food and Forest Development (FFD) organisation. As a member of the international agri-agencies network called AgriCord,  FFD supports and strengthens  farmer organisations in developing countries that aim at improving  the livelihoods of their members.
We take steps to reduce inequality and meet our commitment to development co-operation through our  twinning projects in developing countries.

Responsible organisation and administration

Responsible personnel policy

We do not tolerate discrimination or unequal treatment due to the person’s gender, age, ethnic background, religion or beliefs, opinion, state of health, disability, or sexual orientation. We comply with zero tolerance for harassment in workplace.
We support our personnel’s working capacity, for example, through an extensive occupational health services, fitness weeks, the early intervention model, and support in physical and cultural activities. We invest in the development of leadership skills and the competence of our employees.

We monitor how our personnel processes function and measure employee satisfaction and well-being (frequently), and we carry out necessary development measures.
We comply with consistent and openly available practices in our personnel policy.

Sustainable procurement and resource efficiency

MTK has its own procurement guidelines ‘Kotipesä kuntoon (‘Putting the House in Order’)’, which is updated on a regular basis. The procurement guidelines support the demand for Finnish food, wood, renewable energy and other rural products and services by favouring local products. Responsibility in the procurement policy is founded on domestic origin, eco-friendliness and verified sustainable production methods and provenance.

Responsible investment

The organisation has investment guidelines that are regularly reviewed by the supervisory board. MTK invests its funds deriving from membership fees in a suitable way in societies in a safe and lucrative way, focusing on security and a long-term, steady returns instead of risk-seeking maximisation of profits. The investment risk is spread into various asset categories in accordance with tried and tested principles.

Responsible organisational activities

Responsible actions by elected representatives

The principal target of MTK’s elected representatives is to ensure the mental and economic well-being of all members, as well as profitability of their economic activities. Before making decisions, they learn about the backgrounds of matters and form their own, well-founded reasoning for the decisions. They act with a long-term perspective. A responsible elected representative probes and forecasts the future, tells the members truthfully of any foreseeable changes and their eventual impacts and, if necessary, actively seeks remedial measures. They put the overall advantage of the organisation ahead of their personal goals and support other elected representatives and employees in their own work. The representative’s own economic activities comply with the values and discourse of the organisation, and they  act with integrity and responsibility providing an example for all the members.

Activities based on the organisation’s mission and goals

MTK promotes the economic and social well-being of its members and the sustainable, economical use and management of rural assets. MTK’s lobbying]  is based on the identification of its members’ needs based on a continuous analysis and forecasting of the operating environment, and on its solid expertise. Our organisation is a trailblazer (pioneer) in sustainable development for rural economic activities.
MTK’s work has a great positive influence on the well-being and social equality of our members, and on the success and profitability of rural economic activities. We predict and promote new business opportunities and their profitable utilisation in rural areas.

We safeguard the right to the ownership and use of land and forest property.

We deepen stakeholder co-operation and promote contacts between members and consumers.

Our organisation has correctly dimensioned and targeted resources, efficient methods of operating, and an appropriate organisation that serves all its members in an equitably. Our organisation is an interesting and motivating option for current and future members and for elected representatives and employees.

Responsibility for members

MTK acts according to its mission, promoting the economic and social well-being of all its members. The services offered by the organisation are available to all members equitably. Various production lines, areas and member groups have an equal opportunity to bring forward their views and initiatives within the organisation. When electing the representatives of the organisation, the various elements of equality are taken into account. The experts of the organisation have sufficient knowledge of the lines of economic activities carried on by the members. The organisation ensures that it maintains and develops the professional skills of its members through up-to-date and open communications.

Principles of responsibility for rural economic activities

Responsible entrepreneurship

MTK promotes responsible entrepreneurship by striving to safeguard the operational preconditions for economically, socially and ecologically sustainable entrepreneurship and by increasing expertise related to risk management, generational changes and how to take care of employer’s responsibilities in co-operation with the stakeholders. We boost expertise in work-related well-being in our networks and provide our members with information on occupational well-being  and the early intervention model. We encourage young people to start their own enterprises by increasing community spirit and inspiring entrepreneurs to carry out networking.

Sustainable forestry

Sustainable forestry is ecologically, socially and economically sustainable. In responsible family forestry, forests are managed and used without jeopardising the possibility for current and future generations to utilise the forest ecosystem services in accordance with their targets.
In its own activities, MTK promotes sustainable management and use of forests (by its members) and is involved in the creation of and in offering operating models and tools to carry on and verify sustainable forestry for the use of family forest owners.

Sustainable and competitive food production

With its activities, MTK promotes the responsibility, resource efficiency and competitiveness of Finnish food production. Food production must be sustainable in view of people’s well-being and health,  environment and economy. Security, traceability, the lack of salmonella occurrence, a low amount of drug residues, and the low prevalence of animal diseases, among others, bring added value to the Finnish food production.

MTK aims to promote the operating preconditions of the farm enterprises of its members, to eliminate barriers to entrepreneurship and to improve competitiveness and the well-being of entrepreneurs. We act responsibly in the Finnish food chain by promoting the occupational well-being of food producers, young people’s enthusiasm towards entrepreneurship, and the welfare of animals and the environment.

The cross-generational aspect is one of our key values. MTK promotes competitive Finnish agriculture on nature’s terms and with respect for the environment.

Animal welfare

Animals are sentient beings, and they must be treated with respect.
Welfare means an animal’s experience of its mental and physical state. An animal’s welfare is affected by its possibilities to adapt to events and circumstances in its environment. It is possible to have an impact on animal welfare by providing excellent conditions for husbandry,by good care and by practising responsible animal breeding. Animal welfare is based on so-called five freedoms: freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury or disease, freedom from fear and distress, and freedom to express special behaviour.

MTK promotes the welfare and health of production animals and is strongly involved in the development of healthcare for production animals.

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Page updated: 17/10/2014