Finnish Food Authority as paying agency

We are responsible for paying national and EU-funded subsidies in Finland. We administer the support systems for agriculture, rural development and market support. We advice the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, the municipal rural business authorities and the local Leader associations in managing subsidies in the areas.

We serve as the paying agency of the EU and engage in close cooperation with the European Commission and the paying agencies of the other EU countries. The Commission inspects the Member States’ procedures and the correctness of payments by means of annual audits.

The grant funding of agriculture and rural areas safeguards domestic agricultural production and creates preconditions for entrepreneurship and living in rural areas. The forms of support for agriculture and rural areas include:

  • Farmer subsidies. The aim is to safeguard domestic food production and secure the availability of affordable foodstuffs. In Finland, the point of departure for agricultural policy measures is that agriculture is the foundation of the domestic food economy.
  • Project, business and structural subsidies. Project activities are aimed at renewing livelihoods, developing profitability, increasing expertise and improving rural services and living conditions. Business financing encourages growing and developing companies in rural areas to develop their business. Structural subsidies are used for supporting farm investments and junior farmers in setting up a farm business.
  • Market subsidies. The principal objective is to stabilise the price level of agri-food products.

Agricultural and rural financing in 2018

In Finland, a total of around EUR 2 billion was paid out in agricultural and rural financing in 2018. The majority of this sum consisted of farmer subsidies totalling EUR 1.7 billion. Farmer subsidies safeguard the profitability and production conditions of agriculture and also promote sustainable livestock production and environmentally friendly farming.

The number of beneficiaries in 2018 totalled 59,831. Around 90% of the beneficiaries are farms.
In addition to the farmer subsidies, financing was also paid out to development projects, investments in and setting up and development of farms and other rural businesses, distribution of milk and fruit in schools and day-care centres, along with other subsidies, such as those intended for promotion and for the storage of horticultural products and wild berries and mushrooms.

Agricultural and rural financing safeguards domestic food production, supports the development of Finnish food production and creates preconditions for entrepreneurship and living in rural areas. The food industry is an important employer in Finland. Agriculture, the food industry, the wholesale and retail of foodstuffs and the catering services employ a total of nearly 340,000 Finns, or 13% of all employed people.

Of the total financing of around EUR 2 billion, more than EUR 887 million consists of EU financing. The financing of agriculture and rural development make up a significant part of the EU funding received by Finland. They account for about two-thirds of Finland’s total EU funding.

Finnish farm -infographic.

Finnish farm

  • A total of about 49,700 farms applied for farmer subsidies in 2018.
  • 86% of the farms are family farms
  • A farm has an average of 48 hectares of arable land.
  • Two out of three farms has less than 50 hectares of arable land.
  • 70% of the farms are crop farms.
  • 27% of the farms are livestock farms. The majority of the farms are dairy farms.
  • The remaining 3% are mixed farms without a clear principle type of farming.
  • Dairy farms have an average of 36 cows.
  • Organic arable land accounts for 11.7% of the total farmland.
  • 4640 organic farms
  • Subsidies account for 33% of the total farm yield.
  • 92% of the farms apply for the subsidies electronically.
  • The average age of the farmers is 53 years.