About 4% of Finnish Organic Producers Banned Due to Fraud

(FINNBAY) – Helsinki, 18 June 2014. About 4% of organic producers in Finland were banned from conducting their businesses due to fraud such as illegal and/or unhealthy conditions, the government said on Tuesday.

Girl at restaurant fruits

Courtesy of Colin Logan

In 2013, there were about five thousand Finnish organic producers – the number of producers have been ‘almost’ unchanged from the year before.

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In Finland, the government inspects every organic farms at least once a year and based on their report, the producers are allowed to market their products as organic. The government looks at each produced batches to find out whether they are traceable to specific fields on farms and production years.

In 2013, checks on organic farms were targeted particularly on the quantities of products in stock, so that fraud concerning their source could be prevented. In plant production, conventional seed was used without permission, and there were also shortcomings in the recording of cultivation events and observing crop rotation. Usually, the consequence was a written remark or request to take remedial action, said the Finnish food authority, Evira, in a statement.

“Only less than four per cent of all organic producers were banned from selling their produce as organic,” says Senior Officer Sampsa Heinonen from Evira.

As for organic animal production, problems related to the feeding and outdoor exercise of animals were only found with a couple of per cent of the operators. Most of the remarks concerned the requisite record-keeping in livestock production.

“Homeopathic products were only used on four organic livestock farms. As the number of organic livestock farms totals more than 800, their use is very rare compared to Germany, for example,” says Senior Officer from Evira, Merja.

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Producers of organic feedstuffs were issued with remarks about the labelling of the feed and record-keeping related to the production and storage of feeds.

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