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Safe food from Finland - Consulate General of Finland, Hong Kong : Current Affairs

CONSULATE GENERAL OF FINLAND, Hong Kong

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News, 5/17/2017

Safe food from Finland

HusuKallioLuento
Finland is known for the low use of antibiotics in food-producing animals, says Dr. Jaana Husu-Kallio, Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Forestry of Finland.

Finnish food is produced in extreme conditions. Thanks to the cold winters and light summers the quality is excellent. Cold winters kill off bugs which also means less need for pesticides. Abundant summer light makes the growing season intense. Our water is rated as the cleanest in the world by Unesco. Cleanest air in the world can be found in Finnish Lapland. Open communication with farmers, authorities and industry guarantees that food is processed as it is promised.

These were among the main points given by Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Jaana Husu-Kallio when she gave a Finland100 key note lecture at PolyU this week. The title was telling: Safe Finnish Food for All.

The production conditions in Finland may seem challenging because of the northern location, but for this reason our know-how of the food production has also developed to the top level. We are also known for the low use of antibiotics in food-producing animals, the animal disease burden is extremely low as e.g the salmonella prevalence in beef, pork, poultry and egg production chains is less than one per cent. Antibiotics are only given by prescription, so usually only single animals are treated. Use for growth promotion is strictly prohibited which leads to a very low level of antimicrobial resistance.

If Dr Husu-Kallio provided theoretic background, the Finnish Pavilion at HOFEX2017 Trade fair offered a practical possibility to taste Finnish food and beverages with excellent ingredients from pure soil, clean water and air.

"In Finland, we take for granted that we know where our food ingredients are coming from and that the ingredients are safe to enjoy. Cooperation across the food processing chain, from raw ingredients to finished products, is transparent," says Esa Wrang, Director of the Food from Finland export program at Finpro, an organization that put up the Finnish Pavilion at HOFEX.

More Finnish food for Hong Kong

Gloria Tam and Jaana Husu-Kallio
The heads of the delegations. Dr. Gloria Tam of Hong Kong and Dr. Jaana Husu-Kallio of Finland.

The export license of the eggs and egg products was agreed in principle this week when Finnish food safety experts met with their Hong Kong colleagues. The export of eggs is due to be allowed from 1st of June. The Finnish Minister for agriculture, Mr. Jari Lepp√§ considers this a historical breaktrough for Finnish food exports to outside of the European Union.

Finnish egg farms produce  around 73 million kilos of eggs per annum. And if needed, an egg can be tracked all the way to the farm.

Finland's good animal health and disease control system made the approval process  fast, mentioned Dr. Jaana Husu-Kallio in a press release of the Finnish Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry.

Just before her visit, the Hong Kong food safety authorities also approved the export lisence for Finnish beef. Its import can start already on 15th of May.

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Updated 5/17/2017


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