Press release

EU policy must strengthen the resilience of the food sector


The Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation’s objective for the next EU term is an EU policy that strengthens the resilience of the food sector. It will focus on the competitiveness of companies, better regulation, European food security and sustainable food production.

The food sector is one of the most regulated sectors in Europe. EU policy and the future enlargement of the EU will have a major impact on the Finnish food sector’s prospects for success, as the majority of regulations in the sector are stipulated in the EU.

“The policies on food production and targets for sustainability that are now being drafted in the EU will provide the framework for the strategies and decisions of food and drink companies well into the future,” says Mikko Käkelä, Managing Director of the Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation.

Placing growth, profitability and competitiveness at the heart of policy

The food sector has the potential to provide solutions for the major collective challenges of our time, such as climate change and population growth. To support this, companies in the sector will need financial instruments for the green transition and RDI activities that will enable them to develop new food production methods and food products.

“In order to achieve the sustainability goals for food production, we need funding that encourages companies to innovate and adopt new technologies without compromising their profitability,” Käkelä says.

The profitability of the entire food chain is vital for sustainable food production.

“The EU must set shared goals for sustainability and responsibility, but companies must be given the flexibility to choose the most appropriate means to achieve them,” says Mikko Käkelä.

More predictability through better regulation

The competitiveness of companies, their growth potential and the predictability of the operating environment must be the starting points for the preparation of legislation. The special characteristics of the Member States, such as climate and soil conditions, geographical location and population density, should also be taken into account better.

“It would be in Finland’s interest to transition from its crisis-era regulatory mode back to careful law-drafting. This should be based on assessments of the impacts on both the competitiveness of companies and the environment,” says Marika Säynevirta, Branch Manager at ETL.

In the next policy term, the EU must focus on better and more consistent implementation of existing regulation and the elimination of overlaps. The EU policies of different domains must be harmonised so that food production in Finland will still be possible in the future.

“Food companies have struggled with the conflicting objectives of the various initiatives. Regulation must be coordinated so that, for example, sustainability targets do not override food safety or food security targets. The new Commission will have to discuss the possibilities for deregulation,” says Säynevirta.

Food security strengthens the overall security of the EU

Food security is an important part of the EU’s overall security. Recent years and the challenging global situation have shown that European self-sufficiency and food security must be strengthened by a common policy.

“Managing European food production with common rules and common funding for all is the way to take responsibility for food security and sustainability challenges,” says Käkelä.

The EU must safeguard its critical natural resources, such as fertilisers and feed, and their ownership. In addition, the availability of production inputs in exceptional circumstances must be ensured. In order to guarantee food security, tools to address crises are also needed.

For more information, please contact

Mikko Käkelä

Managing Director

Marika Säynevirta

Branch Manager

Share the article