1. Statistics Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Food Bureau, Ottawa, Canada, 1997.

Gordon Timbers Claude Janelle Agriculture and AgriFood Canada Ottawa, Ontario Canada


Finland became a member of the European Union (EU) in 1995, which has contributed to the national economy and food industry over the past few years. By the EU membership, the Finnish companies now operate in the Common Market. As a consequence, the share of food in the final consumption expenditure per household decreased from 16 to 13% during one and a half years. A significant reduction in prices was observed for pork, eggs, and oil plants. To hasten the adaptation to the new situation, large structural changes in the food industry have been undertaken. Food industry has grown slowly. Food companies from other EU countries have invaded the Finnish market by increasing their ownership of Finnish companies and extending their product selection. Finland became a member of the European Monetary Union and among the first countries to accept European currency in 1999.

The predicted gross national product per capita has increased from $17,000 to $21,000 between 1991 and 1997 with the population growth from 5.0 to 5.1 million. The gross value of all Finnish industry in 1997 was $80 billion; the share of food industry was 10% (Fig. 1). Since 1992 the Finnish food industry has employed more them 40,000 people. The most significant branches in the Finnish food industry include slaughter and meat production, dairy production, and beverages. A proportion of 3.5% ($280 million) of gross value in food industry was allocated to research and development.

The export and import values of food industry were $1,020 million and $1,900 million, respectively, in 1997. Most export was directed to the Eastern European countries (Fig. 2). As a result of the difficult economic situation in Russia, the export from Finland to Russia has markedly decreased in 1997-1998, while export to other Eastern European countries has increased. The share of the Common Market was 30%. Most imports came from the Common Market (Fig. 3). The most important Finnish export and import products are presented in Table 1.

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