Regional Forum for the Future of Agriculture Finland - June 13, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
09:30 - 15:45 (CET)

Participants at the Regional Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) in Helsinki, Finland, hosted by the European Landowners’ Organization (ELO), Syngenta, Maanomistajain Liitto (Finnish Landowners’ Organisation), convened on June 13, 2018 to continue the discussion on the nexus between sustainable farming practices, healthy food and the environment.

Every year, the FFA in Brussels and its regional events emphasize the need for governments, civil society, the private sector and all other stakeholders to work together in order to deliver both food and environmental security. Each year, two FFA Regional Events take place in different locations all over Europe to connect up close with local environmental demands and agricultural conditions and to provide further input for next year’s main stage in Brussels.

In Finland agriculture has to deal with tough climatic conditions including severe winter, short frost-interrupted growing seasons and relatively scarce and acidic arable soils. Although Finland relies heavily on food and other agricultural imports, it has seen an increase in demand not just in these categories, but also for food and agri-business opportunities as well as tourism. These regional demands have partly been generated by structural reforms and the development of Finland’s rural economy. While the country is keeping pace with Europe in terms of growing cities, the above-mentioned growth in rural opportunities mean that its agriculture remains attractive.

However, Nordic countries must also ensure that economic growth and farm practices are shaped in accordance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Food security and quality, climate change and a liveable planet are foremost among those affected by rural development. During FFA Finland, the first panel discussed the bridge between farm practice and the SDGs, but also important local issues such as trade with the Russian Federation.

The event also came at the perfect time to discuss the future of Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy, with the Commission expected to release their legislative proposals in May 2018. FFA Finland is therefore in a unique position to discuss the proposals both in the context of Europe and its local agriculture.

The third panel was dedicated to the sustainable management of natural resources, combatting climate change and biodiversity loss which do not just threaten biodiversity but also have a negative impact on farming. FFA Finland will discuss how land managers can remain profitable while increasing environmental goals and attracting a new generation of farmers.

After the great success of #FFA2018 in Brussels, the Regional Event in Finland continued the serious debate on the future of agriculture and the environment while paying attention to the unique circumstances of Nordic land management.


Jun 13, 2018

09:30 - 15:45 (CET)

09:30 - 10:00 (CET)

Welcoming coffee

10:05 - 10:15 (CET)


Henrik Creutz, President, Finnish Landowners’ Organisation

10:15 - 10:30 (CET)


Thierry de l’Escaille, Secretary General, ELO

10:30 - 11:00 (CET)

Keynote speaker

Jari Leppä, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

11:00 - 12:00 (CET)

Panel 1: Global food security & Climate change- why or how to produce for global needs

Keynote speaker: Dr David Viner, FIEnvSc; Principal Advisor for climate change for Mott

MacDonald, Honorary Lifetime Member of Friends of the Countryside
Mikhail Orlov, President, Ambika Group, Russia
Xavier Leprince, Head Business Sustainability EAME, Syngenta

Questions & answers
Moderator: Max Schulman, Farmer, Chair of the European Arable Sector, COPA COGECA

12:00 - 12:20 (CET)

Farming ecologically, economically and socially more sustainable

Markus Eerola, Farmer, Knehtilä Farm, Finland

12:20 - 13:30 (CET)

Panel 2: New challenges for the CAP and EU

Keynote speaker: Prof. Allan Buckwell, RISE Foundation

Valeriu Steriu, member of the Committee of Agriculture, Parliament of Romania
H.E. Maximilian Hennig, Austrian Ambassador to Finland

Questions & answers
Moderator: Thierry de l’Escaille, Secretary General, ELO

13:30 - 14:30 (CET)

Light Lunch

14:30 - 15:35 (CET)

Panel 3: Sustainable management of natural resources (competitiveness and environmental protection, & forestry)

Keynote speaker: Robert Flies, former advisor to the director in the DG Environment, EC

Ilkka Herlin, Board member of Baltic Sea Action Group
Fredrik von Limburg Stirum, Koskis Gard
Jurgen Tack, Director, Landelijk Vlaanderen

Questions & answers
Moderator: Pentti Törmä, Editor-in-chief Käytännön Maamies

15:35 - 15:45 (CET)


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