Food Market Ombudsman
The Food Market Ombudsman influences the functioning of the food market in Finland, for example by issuing opinions, taking initiatives and supervising the food supply chain’s practices.
The Food Market Ombudsman is an independent and autonomous authority whose duties include advisory services and supervision. The Ombudsman belongs to the administrative branch under the auspice of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and situated at the Finnish Food Authority. The Government appoints the Ombudsman for a maximum term of five years at a time.
The Ombudsman issues recommendations, opinions and proposals related to the food supply chain and informs and advises food supply chain actors on good business practices.
The Food Market Ombudsman supervises compliance with the requirements and prohibitions laid down in the Act. The Ombudsman’s duties include the monitoring of contractual terms and practices in the food supply chain and the monitoring of procedures in line with good business practices.
In practice, the Ombudsman’s duties may include promoting reconciliation between parties in conflict situations or advising stakeholders on good practices. Provisions on the duties of the Ombudsman are laid down in the Food Market Act.
The Food Market Ombudsman Olli Wikberg
Olli Wikberg began his five-year term as Finland’s Food Market Ombudsman on 1 September 2019.
Olli Wikberg is a Doctor of Law and a Deputy Judge from Helsinki. Wikberg studied law at the University of Helsinki and graduated as a Doctor of Law in 2010. His doctoral dissertation on European law dealt with measures for the prevention of cartel activity in the European Union. Wikberg previously graduated with a licentiate in law majoring in law and economics. He also completed a Bachelor of Law degree in the same major in 1999. He also has also previously completed studies in business.
Before he was appointed the Food Market Ombudsman, Wikberg served as a senior ministerial adviser at the Ministry of Justice in 2018-2019. While employed by the Ministry's Legislative Preparation Department, he was responsible for issues related in particular to administrative law. Before joining the Ministry of Justice, Wikberg served as a Market Court judge in 2011-2018. He also has numerous years of experience in competition law, especially as a teacher and researcher of the subject area at the University of Helsinki.
Wikberg has gained knowledge of the functioning of the food market and the food supply chain in his role as Vice President of the Committee on Food Supply Chain Trading Practices from the time it was established in 2014 until 2019.