Annikka Hurme: The EU must not stifle growth 


Annikka Hurme, Chair of the Board of the Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation and CEO of Valio, wants EU decision-makers to focus more on the competitiveness of European companies. Economic growth in the US has been faster than in Europe for more than a decade now, and the gap is only getting wider.

Food and drink businesses have already been suffering from bureaucratic burnout as a result of the EU regulatory maelstrom of recent years. What we need now is a regulatory hiatus. The EU is threatening to regulate itself so that it loses all competitiveness with its ever-changing requirements. The US is doing things differently: it is enabling business growth and promoting the green transition through incentives.

Businesses need regulatory predictability, moderation in taxation and reasonable costs. This would create opportunities for the food and drink industry to invest, create new jobs and ensure food sufficiency even in bad times, says Hurme.

From the food industry’s point of view, the upcoming EU elections are about ensuring that food can be produced and processed in Finland in the future. Managing European food production with common rules and common funding is about taking responsibility for food security and sustainability challenges.

If we want to be able to influence the state of the environment, sustainability and profitability must go hand in hand. The EU’s climate and environmental targets must be ambitious and there are many ways to achieve them. Innovations are best created when companies are independently allowed to find solutions, says Annikka Hurme.

The food and drink industry is one of the most regulated industries in Europe. Most of the legislation in this sector, up to 90% according to some estimates, comes from the EU. The industry is also the most important industry in Europe by several different measures.

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