The safety and quality of the Finnish food chain is managed in co-operation with many different parties. The key parties are the businesses and operators in the sector, organisations, laboratories and local authorities. The Finnish Food Authority manages, directs and develops the safety and quality of the food supply chain under the administration of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The goal is effective, efficient, consistent and risk-based targeted control across the entire food chain.
The Food Authority is responsible for
- predicting, preventing and managing risks related to food
- predicting, preventing and managing the risks related to plant health and agricultural production
- promoting animal health and welfare
The authorities playing a part in ensuring and supporting the safety and quality of the food chain from farm to fork are the municipalities, Regional State Administrative Agencies (AVI), the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres), the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes), The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira), Customs, the State Department of Åland and the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK).
The National Control Plan, VASU
The control is based on the multiannual national control plan for the Finnish food chain (VASU), which contains a detailed description of the whole control chain. VASU is found via the menu on the left-hand side, under Plans and programmes.
A so-called VASU report on its implementation is sent to the European Commission. Finland's VASU reports are found via the menu on the left-hand side on the page Assessments and reports.
The Finnish Food Authority and Valvira compile the joint national control programme for environmental health care, which aims at guiding the municipalities in the planning and execution of the monitoring of the environmental health care. The programme is found under Plans and Programmes on the left-hand side.
Information on the control of food safety, animal health and welfare and the control of plant production is also found via the left-hand menu under Control Arrangements. An itemised description of the controls for the different sectors and support for the operations is found directly in conjunction with the issue in question.
The management and control system for monitoring
The Food Authority plans the national goals for the safety and control of the food chain and the measures necessary to achieve these. This task covers the ensuring of resources, the efficiency and effectiveness of the operation and reporting on it and systematic corrections of noted shortcomings.
The strategies, action plans and business plans of the sector, the State budget and the performance agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Finnish Food Authority are considered in the planning of the operation.
The functioning and quality of the controls
The Finnish Food Authority ensures the functioning and quality of the monitoring by guiding the operations of the different authorities and by organising audits. The authorities have quality systems/operational systems suited for their activities. In addition, the quality of the monitoring is ensured by using operational and quality systems and carrying out visits for guidance and assessment in accordance with these.