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Finnish food security and business cooperation


How business and the public sector cooperate in Finland to secure the country's food supply in crisis situations.


Private actors from the whole food supply chain are involved in Finland's food preparedness. Food preparedness is part of a central crisis preparedness organization, the National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA), which handles all supply-critical sectors, such as e.g. energy supply. NESA coordinates the emergency storage of which a part is based on NESA entering into agreements with companies that the companies must maintain a larger stock reserves than is economically optimal. In the food sector, the emergency stocks are organized into three pools that have contacts with the companies deemed to be supply-critical. The primary production pool is organized by the Finnish Farmers’ Organisation. The industry organization for the food industry companies is responsible for the food industry pool and the Federation of Grocers for the trade and distribution pool. In addition to the companies' extended storage through agreements with NESA, they also contribute by e.g. regular status reports to the pools and by participating in training and exercises in crisis preparedness arranged by NESA. For example, a four-week long "National Defense course" is organized three times a year, where selected leaders from supply-critical companies participate.


In 2015, the Swedish government decided to resume the planning of total defense due to security policy developments and there is a clear goal that Sweden should be self-sufficient for more than three months in the event of a crisis. However, there is still a lack of a clear distribution of responsibilities and a concrete plan for how this should be done. While Sweden phased out food preparedness during the 1990s, Finland has maintained and developed its preparedness. Many are now looking to Finland for inspiration and to learn how their food security is organized.


Finland's history and geographical location have meant that food preparedness has been more politically prioritized and domestic foods have been in greater demand for a longer period of time compared to Sweden, where these issues have only received more attention in recent years. Finland is 80% self-sufficient and ranks among the countries in the world with the highest score in a Global Food Security Index, despite almost the entire country being north of the 60th parallel.


The cooperation with the businesses is largely based on volunteerism, where companies feel pride and responsibility in contributing to the country's food supply. Voluntariness is partly made possible because the large food companies in Finland are not foreign-owned to the same extent as in Sweden. In addition to this, there are also both financial incentives and knowledge incentives for companies' participation. The agreements with NESA for the companies to have a larger stock reserves are financed by a supply contingency fund, which receives its funds from supply contingency fees with the support of the Act on Excise Duty on Liquid Fuels. The knowledge incentive consists of the companies gaining access to information, both from the national preparedness work and from other food players who participate in the collaboration. By having established structures for storage and communication, companies improve the preparedness of their own operations in the event of a crisis.


National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA)

Global Food Security Index 


MatLust is an EU project with the purpose of strengthening growth and sustainability within the food industry in the Stockholm region. In MatLust’s transnational component we are looking for best practice and good examples in the Baltic Sea region. Areas of interest are sustainable business models for SME in the food sector, innovative applications of public procurement and Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) and initiatives for more resilient food systems. Good examples are documented and spread via MatLust's website and events.

Maria Micha

Forskningsrelaterade samarbeten, MatLust Utvecklingsnod samt Projektledare, Mineralskiftet
Tel: 08-523 064 40

Uppdaterad: 23 mars 2023
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