A woman at the meat counter of a supermarket. The Finnish government remains intent on drafting a programme that encourages the public to reduce meat consumption, but it has yet to agree on the extent of the reduction. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)


THE GOVERNMENT of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has yet to reach an understanding of the target for reducing meat consumption in Finland.

YLE on Saturday reported that the ruling parties have largely finalised the so-called climate food programme, but their disagreements over meat consumption have stalled the process, with some parties demanding that the reduction target be defined more clearly.

Pertti Hakanen, a special aide to Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Antti Kurvinen (Centre), told the Finnish public broadcaster that the goal is nevertheless to finalise the programme by the end of the electoral term.

The five ruling parties agreed to draft a climate food programme at the coalition formation negotiations four years ago, but the preparatory work has already been pushed back at least two times.

The government programme sets minimising the climate footprint of food consumption and improving understanding of food production as the goals of the food programme. It also outlines that public procurement should place priority to vegetable-rich food and locally and organically produced animal-based products, such as meat, eggs and dairy.

“We will halve the amount of food loss and food waste by 2030, and we will draw up a roadmap to reduce loss and waste at every stage of the food chain,” the ruling parties pledged.

YLE on Saturday wrote, citing sources within the government, that the proposal currently under consideration does not satisfy all the coalition members as the programme lays down the rather equivocal goal of reducing meat consumption rather than reducing it by a third by 2030, as stated in an earlier draft proposal according to media reports in May 2022.

The current proposal was drafted at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Disagreements over the reduction target are precisely what have held up the process, according to the public broadcaster. Although the government has not revisited the issue since the turn of the year, the sources said the intention remains to finalise the programme by the end of the electoral term.

The parliamentary elections will be held on 2 April.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT