Finland’s food production has spawned a surprising export success. Finland’s share of the world’s caraway exports is just under 30 per cent, extending to more than 40 countries, including Europe, the US and India. Small volumes are also exported to Asia and the Arab countries.
— Finland’s share of the caraway markets was an estimated 31 per cent in 2011, although, solely based on volumes, the share of exports equalled just 28 per cent. The larger unit price reflects how much buyers appreciate the high quality of Finnish caraway, says Csaba Jansik, Principal Research Scientist at MTT Agrifood Research Finland.
According to MTT, Finnish caraway has an edge over the competition in the global markets. The country’s long, light-filled growing season increases the amount of essential oil in the seeds compared to that of caraway from other countries, giving it a stronger flavour. Finland’s largest competitors are Canada, the Netherlands, Egypt and the Central European countries.
Jansik explains that another factor enhancing the success of caraway exports is a well-organised, smoothly operating production chain. The traceability of the chain has been implemented for a long time, meaning that information on the producer can be linked to specific delivery consignments. This increases buyers’ trust in the product.
Caraway is cultivated on some 1,500 farms, of which approximately 1,000 are regular producers that grow caraway annually. The rest are occasional producers.