Food labelling regulations require the name and address of the manufacturer, packager or seller in the EU to be indicated on the packaging. In addition, more detailed particulars on the country of origin of the food must be provided
- where failure to do so could mislead the consumer as to the true country of origin of the food. The purpose of this is to ensure that the consumer does not assume that the food is of Finnish origin if it has been manufactured elsewhere or imported into Finland from elsewhere.
- where required by specific legislation.
- Mandatory provisions of origin have been developed for honey, vegetables, fish, meat (species of animal: cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and poultry) and olive oil.
- National regulations provide for the indication of the country of origin of meat used as an ingredient in foods, the country of origin of milk and the country of origin of milk used as an ingredient in dairy products in prepacked foods made in Finland.
- where the country of origin of the food is indicated and where it is different from the country of origin of the primary ingredient, the country of origin of the primary ingredient must be indicated or "(name of primary ingredient) does not originate (country of origin or place of provenance)" or any similar wording likely to have the same meaning for the consumer. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 2018/775 provides for the indication of the country of origin of the primary food ingredient. The Regulation is in force and has been applicable since 1 April 2020.
Manufacturer means the operator who has processed the food or made a food compound or put the food into its final state by some other treatment. Manufacturing means the combination of food with other ingredients, cooking, preserving or other similar treatment.
Negligible manufacturing does not transform an essential ingredient into a domestic one
Since the concept of manufacture is very broad, the country of production does not necessarily always mean the same as the country of origin. Where a food is made from several ingredients, the country of production and the country of origin are the same. Foods where the essential raw material is of foreign origin and where its processing in Finland is negligible do not become of Finnish origin, even though their country of production is Finland. In these cases, the country of origin of the raw material must be indicated if failure to do so is likely to mislead the purchaser. For example, the country of origin of foreign bread baked in Finland or foreign milk pasteurised and packaged in Finland must be indicated.
Agricultural and collection products
Where an agricultural product processed and packaged in Finland does not occur in Finland at all (e.g. black pepper), the origin labelling is not required because the buyer would not assume it to be Finnish. On the other hand, the origin of the berries must be stated, for example, in a frozen berry mix, if these berries can also occur in Finland. However, in the case of jam made in Finland from foreign berries, it is not yet necessary to indicate the country of origin of the berries, unless the operator emphasises that the jam was produced in Finland ("see the country of origin of the primary ingredient above").
For beef, which has its own labelling system, and for meat of swine, sheep, goat and poultry, the country of origin must always be indicated, including Finland. The Finnish Food Authority recommends that the country of origin of other meat should also be indicated. How the country of origin is indicated is regulated by law:
Meat of swine, sheep, goat and poultry (fresh, chilled and frozen): Regulation of (EU) No 1337/2013) of the European Parliament and of the Council;
More about the subject of meat and meat products(in Finnish).
Meat and milk used as an ingredient in food and milk used as an ingredient in milk products and certain similar products
Indication of the country of origin of the meat ingredient in food and the milk ingredient used in milk and certain similar products is regulated nationally by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Decree 218/2017.The Hyvää Suomesta (Produced in Finland) label replaces the food's country of origin label. The Decree was valid until 31 December 2023. The validity of the Decree has been extended by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry decrees 685/2019, 83/2020, 361/2020 and most recently 885/2021.
Training material "News about country of origin labelling and the “Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Decree 218/2017” can be read via the links on the right side of the page.
Fishery and aquaculture products
For a product caught in fresh water, indicate the original water area and the Member State or third country of origin (e.g. Nuasjärvi, Finland).
For a product caught at sea, indicate the name of the catch area (major fishing area, subarea or division). If the fish was caught in the North-East Atlantic, Mediterranean or Black Sea, the name of the subarea or division must be indicated. In addition, the name must be presented as a map or pictogram showing it. This replaces the name of the major fishing area. For the rest of the world, only the name of the major fishing area needs to be indicated.
For farmed products indicate the country where the farming (rearing) took place.
More on the subject of fish and fishery products. Fish labelling
The packaging of the honey must indicate one or more countries of origin from which the product was collected. If the honey originates in more than one Member State or third country, the indication may be replaced by one of the following indications: “Blend of EU honey”, “Blend of non-EU honeys”, “Blend of EU and non-EU honeys”.
More on the subject of honey (in Finnish).
Voluntary origin labelling
The Hyvää Suomesta (Produced in Finland) label may be used on products that are made in Finland and where at least 75% of the raw materials are Finnish. However, the meat in products containing meat, the fish in products containing fish, the egg in products containing eggs and the milk in products containing milk must be 100% Finnish. The right to use the Hyvää Suomesta (Produced in Finland) label is granted by Ruokatieto Yhdistys ry. More information about the Hyvää Suomesta (Produced in Finland) label.
The Key Flag on the other hand, does not guarantee that the raw materials of origin are Finnish. The product must be manufactured in Finland, but the required 50% domestic content refers to the proportion of the Finnish cost of the break-even cost, which takes into account not only the cost of raw materials but also other costs incurred (for example, personnel costs, packaging materials and certain marketing costs). The right to use the Key Flag is granted by the Association for Finnish Work. More information on the Key Flag.
Cotyledon label is a quality label that can be used by Finnish farmers. The use of the label requires among other things, that the Laatutarha quality guidelines be followed in the production of vegetables; however, the Cotyledon label cannot replace verbal information about the country of origin. The right to use the Cotyledon label is granted by Kotimaiset Kasvikset ry. More information on the Cotyledon label.
The Maakuntien Parhaat quality label can be used by small businesses with a high domestic degree of products (at least 80% of the break-even cost (labour and raw materials); however, 100% of the primary raw materials). The right to use the Maakuntien Parhaat quality label is granted by the Association of ProAgria Centres. More information on Maakuntien Parhaat.
Use of the Finnish flag on packaging
The Finnish flag may be used alone in connection with products to symbolise a product's Finnishness and domesticity. The product must be wholly or mainly Finnish in terms of both production and raw materials, otherwise the use of the flag will mislead the consumer. For example, it is not possible to get all spices from Finland.