Finland is a member of the European Union since 1995, one of the first members of the Eurozone and a country whose population of more than 5.5 million people relies quite heavily on food imports. The country’s economy has seen difficult times in the last years but aggressive reforms shows promise in restoring balance.
Foodstuff, petroleum and related products, grain, chemicals and transport equipment are among the top imports, which reached EUR 4.7 billion last year, in November, a 2% increase compared to 2015.
The vast majority of the country’s food sector, more than 90%, is controlled by Finland’s large purchase centers and outlets. The rest, around 5%, belongs to importers of niche food products.
Finland’s food importers have dramatically increased their activity in the last 20 years since the country joined the EU. The volume of Finnish imports increased by almost 300% in this time frame, the top partners being Germany, the neighboring Nordic states and Poland (which exports mainly meat and meat products).
Finland also has a very close relation with its neighbor, Estonia. The Baltic country’s exports reached 1.1 billion EUR in November 2016, and 17% of them were directed towards Finland.
Producers looking to establish a partnership with food importers from Finland should focus on some of the items that have shown the biggest increase in demand in the last years. These include dairy products (especially butter and cheese), meat and fish products, bakery products (bread) and various gourmet and specialty products.