The Daily Mail has reported that more than £2.5 million of fur items have been imported into the UK from Finland over the last five years.


Although campaigners have been calling for fur farming to be banned from Finland, the country was responsible for around 2.4 million foxes being farmed for their fur in 2016. Images taken last year by Justice for Animals, a Finnish animal rights group, show the price that Arctic foxes have to pay to fuel Finland’s fur industry.

In other news, Finland is ranked as having the best education system in the world relative to GDP per capita, while Glamour magazine celebrates the Finnish “wellness trend” of Päntsdrunk.

The Arctic foxes that shame the fashion world
The Daily Mail

More than 100 million animals are killed for their fur every year. And while the UK banned fur farming 15 years ago, shoppers are still able to buy imported pelts.

Over the past five years more than £2.5 million of fur items have been imported into the UK from Finland, according to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), while luxury labels — including Louis Vuitton and Prada — are reported to use, or have used, fox fur in their clothing and accessories.

Campaigners have been calling for fur farming to be banned in Finland, as it has been in many other European countries, including the UK, Austria, the Netherlands, and in the Czech Republic from 2019 onwards.

But these ‘super-size’ foxes — which reach 40lb, five times their weight in the wild — are so big they can barely move and, according to the Finnish animal rights group, Justice for Animals, represent a new low in the industry.

The group has released the images taken last year by its undercover investigators on five farms in the remote Ostrobothnia region in western Finland, where the majority of the country’s 900 fur farms are located.

Despite a successful campaign in the Nineties led by PETA and fronted by supermodels, including Naomi Campbell, with the slogan ‘I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur’, the fur industry today is booming.

According to the International Fur Federation, it was worth £29 billion in 2015, up from £11.6 billion in 2011. It remains particularly popular in Italy where it featured prominently at the recent Milan Fashion Week.

In Finland, around 2.4 million foxes (all species) were produced for fur on its farms in 2016. Only China, where animal welfare legislation is all but non-existent, produces more fox fur. What’s more, China has recently been buying most of Finland’s fur, followed by Russia.

Original article was published by the Daily Mail on 31/05/2018 and can be found here.

Finland has the best education system in the world relative to GDP
Study International

There are many reasons why you should study in Finland, but as the recent Universitas 21 (U21) rankings show, one great motivator is the world-class efficiency of its higher education system.

Results from the league table say whilst the US system is still top in terms of overall performance, Finland is the true winner when the rankings are adjusted to measure each country relative to their national income levels.

In fact, when adjusted to take into account GDP per capita, Finland takes the lead ahead of the US and UK, traditional favourites in the world of higher education, Eyewitness News reported.

The U21 rankings compare the strengths and weaknesses of individual institutions but, unsatisfied with the measurement of the best higher education system, the rankings were reworked to consider the countries’ economic standing.

Both Finland and the UK were found to have scored 20 percent above the average level of achievement for countries at their income levels.

The authors measured 24 different indicators to reach their conclusion on the 50 countries the rankings include.

The measures include; expenditure on higher education, government policy, industry links, the diversity of the country’s institutions, enrolment rates, and research performance.

These indicators of performance are then divided up into four categories; resources, policy environment, connectivity, and output.

Original article was published by Study International on 28/05/2018 and can be found here.

‘Päntsdrunk’ is the Scandinavian wellness trend we need right now

Hygge isn’t for everyone. If collective cozying is also not your speed, there’s a new Scandinavian lifestyle trend in town that may be. Rather than focus on the aesthetic presentation of well-being, it involves drinking at home in your underwear. Actually, that’s all it is. Päntsdrunk is the Finnish self-care phenomenon in which you remove your pants—at home—and drink. Kippis! (That means cheers.)

Actually called kalsarikänni in Finland, which translates (much more logically) to underwear drunk, this is a for-real pastime so legit the country’s ministry of foreign affairs included people drinking in their underwear in an emoji pack that represents Finnish culture. (A man in briefs with a beer for him; a woman sipping red wine in a pink teddy set for her.) In his new book Päntsdrunk: The Finnish Path to Relaxation, out June 5, author Miska Rantanen has translated the concept for Americans.

In his book Rantanen explains that the couch-and-booze habit developed as something of a coping mechanism for people in Finland who already spend a lot of time home alone thanks to what meteorologists have termed the “polar night,” a punishing winter season during which the sun rarely rises above the horizon and late-fall snow doesn’t begin to melt until June. Socializing involves far too much being out of doors and a terrible amount of clothing wearing. I get it.

Original article was published by Glamour on 29/05/2018 and can be found here.

Nordic countries oppose EU plans for digital tax on firms' turnover
The Business Times

Finance ministers of the European Union's three Nordic countries have urged their partners to shelve a plan to tax large corporations for their digital turnover, saying it could damage the European economy.

The call could further weaken the plan proposed by the European Commission in March. It has already attracted criticism from smaller EU states and a lukewarm response from Germany's new government.

"A digital services tax deviates from fundamental principles of income taxation by applying the tax on gross income, i.e. without regard to whether the taxpayer is making a profit or not," Swedish Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson, and her counterparts from Denmark and Finland, Kristian Jensen and Petteri Orpo, said in a joint statement on Friday.

The commission's proposed tax comes amid criticism of large digital companies, like Facebook and Google, who are accused by some EU states of paying too little tax in Europe, exploiting an outdated system that has allowed them to shift profits to low-tax countries like Luxembourg or Ireland.

Original article was published by The Business Times on 01/06/2018 and can be found here.

Finland and China collaborate on clean energy test platforms
Energy Live News

Finland and China have announced they are collaborating to build open international test platforms to develop flexible and clean energy systems.

They have invited international companies and research institutes to facilities in Finland’s Åland Islands and the Zhangjiakou Demonstration Zone in China.

The Åland Islands is planned to be a demonstration platform for a flexible energy system, based on smart grids and 100% renewable energy production and use.

Finland says the system will have the ability to integrate distributed renewable energy production into the overall network and quickly respond to fluctuations in demand and supply.

Original article was published by Energy Live News on 27/05/2018 and can be found here.

Dan Anderson – HT

Photo: Lehtikuva / Oikeutta eläimille