Study: production of food to increase in Finland
“Concept of domestically-produced food to be redefined”
Finnish foodstuffs production will increase, even if the Finns were to consume less domestically-grown food.
The agricultural production will grow, even though according to the most pessimistic estimates only a fifth of the food consumed by the Finns in 2030 will be of domestic origin.
The increase in food production will result from the increased demand for food supplies thanks to the global growth of population, but also from the warming of the climate, which favours Finnish agriculture.
The decrease in domestic food consumption, on the other hand, may result from increasingly individual eating habits, internationalisation, multiculturalism, and other trends.
In fact, the entire concept of 'domestically-produced food' may have to be rethought. "Within twenty years, a significant portion of the country’s population will be of foreign origin. Their idea of domestic food may be totally different”, points out researcher Anna Kirveennummi of Turku School of Economics, Finland Futures Research Centre.
“The export of Finnish food will increase in any case. Because of climate change, Finland’s significance as a foodstuffs producer in the European Union will increase”, continues professor Sirpa Kurppa of MTT Agrifood Research Finland.
At present, 85 per cent of the food sold in Finland is domestic, and likewise 85 per cent of the foodstuffs industry's raw materials come from Finland.
The future Finnish eating habits are outlined in a report published yesterday by Finland Futures Research Centre. The two-year project financed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry looked into how people’s consumer habits and food production will change by the year 2030.
The account produced four differing scenarios for the future. The first alternative is that the Finns’ eating habits will remain the same and there will be plenty of food and food options available. Simultaneously, the consumption of domestic food will decrease.
According to the second alternative, environmental consciousness will increase. Because of the carbon footprint of food imports, the consumption of domestic food will increase.
The third alternative is that the global food shortage will worsen and food will become pricier. Domestic consumption will increase.
In the fourth alternative the advances in technology will lead to the use of more artificial substances in food. Traditional food becomes a luxury, and the share of domestic food may fall to a mere fifth.
”In people’s eating habits, changes take place only slowly. Ultimately twenty years is a short time”, concludes education manager Leena Jokinen of Finland Futures Research Centre.
Previously in HS International Edition:
EU allows Finland to keep production subsidies for milk and beef (21.11.2008)
International visitors learn about school lunches in Joensuu (15.9.2005)
Lifestyle and diet changing only slowly (1.3.2005)