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Finnish food exports taste success

Not all heroes wear capes, like blueberry – the superhero of the superfood industry.Krista Keltanen / Visit Finland

Food and drinks exports from Finland increased by 13.7 per cent year-on-year in the first two quarters of 2019.

The increase is promising a record year for the Finnish food industry, which has picked up the slack from a drop in exports to Russia since the adoption of EU-wide sanctions in 2014. The industry has found new markets especially in China, where exports increased a whopping 64 per cent, and Germany (34.5 per cent). Other important new markets include the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, Denmark and Sweden.

“The Finnish food industry’s growth potential is largely due to the companies’ ability to internationalise their operations,” explainedEsa Wrang, the head of food programme at Business Finland. “This means investing in evermore refined products, that increase the value added in exports and offer significant benefits to consumers and business clients.”

Dairy, oats and alcohol products were the fastest growing export categories between January and June. In Asia, meat products were also in high demand. According to Wrang, the aforementioned categories will be supplemented health food products in the future. The value-added products are also attracting international capital, with investments anticipated to grow by 10 per cent in 2019.

Currently the fourth-biggest industry in Finland, the food industry employs 38 000 people directly and 340 000 people indirectly. Its value projected to hit 1.75 billion euros in 2019, but Wrang is not planning on taking a day off anytime soon.

“Our serious ambition is to grow to three billion euros by 2025.”

Good News from Finland is published by Finnfacts, which is part of Business Finland.

By: Samuli Ojala