Nordic food system solutions discussed at summer meeting hosted by Finland

News - Published 24.6.2021

On Thursday 25 June, Finland hosted a meeting of the Nordic ministers of agriculture. Finland holds the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021. The meeting was held via video conferencing, and it was chaired by Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä. The theme of the ministers’ policy discussion was the sustainable Nordic food systems.

Introductions to the ministers’ discussion were given by Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen and Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Petteri Taalas. The ministers also heard a summary of the joint Nordic dialogue on sustainable food systems.

The joint Nordic dialogue webinar on food systems on the day preceding the meeting was organised on Finland’s initiative. The dialogue contributed to the national preparations in Finland and the other Nordic countries towards the UN Food Systems Summit to be held in October.

The webinar brought together about 100 participants from all Nordic countries and their autonomous regions. Among the numerous topics related to this very broad theme raised at the virtual meeting were the reduction of food loss and waste, sustainable consumption and nutrition, One Health, sustainable use of renewable natural resources and new technologies.

The Nordic ministers adopted a statement concerning shared views by the Nordic countries on the improvement of sustainability in food systems. The ministers confirmed their common approaches and priorities for the preparation of the UN Food Systems Summit. The Nordic countries have a lot in common and have much to offer to  enhance sustainability of food systems globally.

The Nordic countries have a lot of similarities in their food systems, and they also have nutrition recommendations that are based on common guidelines. This makes it easy to talk about the common views and guidelines, but there are also differences in the emphasis on certain elements due to factors such as different kinds of the natural conditions.

Usually the summer meeting of the Council of Ministers of these sectors (agriculture and forestry, fisheries, aquaculture and food issues) has been organised before Midsummer in the country that holds the Presidency. The original plan was to hold the meeting during Finland’s Presidency in Savonlinna, but due to the CODID-19 situation the meeting was transformed into a virtual event.

Aulikki Hulmi, Director for International Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. +358 295 162 034

Press release from Finland’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 24.6.2021