🇫🇮 The food and beverage industry responds to sustainable growth challenges and aims for significant exports

February 19, 2024
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Photo: Eeva Anundi / Business Finland

The Finnish food and beverage sector is undergoing rapid renewal as major companies begin to gather the entire food chain behind them to strengthen the sector’s competitiveness and international export capabilities.

The latest initiative is Food 2.0, the challenger class leading company project led by Valio, which aims to significantly increase collaboration, exports, and research and development activities. The goal of the project is to create a food system in Finland where growth and added value are built on the foundation of sustainable production.

Valio’s role is to initiate and lead broad-based collaboration as well as research and development projects with both existing and new partners. Business Finland has granted the project €10 million in development funding and is prepared to provide €20 million in funding for partner companies and research partners associated with the project.

“Business Finland wants to be heavily involved in the work aimed at renewing the food system and supporting the international competitiveness of food and beverage companies,” says Nina Kopola, Director-General of Business Finland.

“Food 2.0” aims to attract at least 100 partners to its network. The goal of Valio and the collaboration network is a total additional investment of €100 million in research and development activities over five years, and to increase food and beverage exports by over €1 billion. Valio is the first food industry company selected by Business Finland as a leading company.

“We encourage companies to participate and other parties to make extensive use of the services offered by Business Finland and the Team Finland network during the project,” says Kopola.

Regarding growth and export conditions, Business Finland is focusing especially on technology and new business opportunities arising from changes in food and beverage production.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR FINNISH EXPERTISE

The Food from Finland program, which promoted food and beverage exports, served industry companies from 2014 to 2023. Business Finland’s funding and export promotion services are continuously available to companies in the food sector. Food and food technology companies received approximately €30 million in funding in 2023.

Over 300 different internationalization services have been provided to industry companies. In addition, Business Finland has connected 100 food and beverage industry customers to market opportunities with over 340 company activations.

FUTURE FOOD MUST BE MORE CLIMATE-FRIENDLY

A recent report published by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) highlights two food sectors that, as they grow, create value: plant-based protein products replacing meat and cellular agriculture. Two-thirds of the future growth in value added in traditional sectors will come from the production of dairy, fish, and oat products.

The report also highlights Petteri Orpo‘s government program’s guidance on the export and growth strategy for food and beverage companies, with key measures including increasing and diversifying processing capacity and investing in sales, marketing, and branding expertise, as well as research, development, and innovation.

“Business Finland is involved in developing a sustainable and profitable food and beverage system outlined in the government program,” says Senior Director Eeva Salminen. She works as a representative of Business Finland in the steering group implementing the government’s guidelines.

MORE INFORMATION

Become a customer

Valio press release, 16.2.2024: Valio is launching an extensive RDI project Food 2.0 with Business Finland’s funding to develop a food system of the future

Business Finland press release, 16.2.2024: New leading companies: Kempower, Patria, Valio and Wärtsilä

 


Originally published on 19 February by Business Finland.

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