Regional Forum for the Future of Agriculture Finland - June 13, 2018
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.
Videos from this event
Summaries from this event
Jun 13, 2018
Henrik Creutz, President, Finnish Landowners’ Organisation
Thierry de l’Escaille, Secretary General, ELO
Jari Leppä, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
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
Farming ecologically, economically and socially more sustainable
Markus Eerola, Farmer, Knehtilä Farm, Finland
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
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