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Easter-time demand for domestic lamb outstrips supply in Finland

Finnish lamb producers boosted lamb production for the holiday, but were forced to export some of it to Sweden.

Lamb in a butcher's display.
File photo of lamb meat in butcher's display. Image: Yle/Jonas Blomqvist

For many families in Finland, lamb is the main course during Easter, but finding domestically-raised lamb in shops is increasingly difficult even though production levels were raised in the run-up to the holiday.

Finland's slaughterhouses were apparently unable to keep up with the increased amount of available lamb, so a good amount of the excess was exported to Sweden, according to agriculture newspaper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus.

Lambs are sheep which have reached a maximum of one-year of age.

Chair of the country's slaughterhouse association, Eero Polso, said it would be possible for Finland to double the amount of domestic lamb during Easter, but that it would require the animals to be slaughtered more regularly during the year and frozen.

Polso said the availability of domestic lamb products would be improved if grocery stores took more of it in frozen.

A whole domestically-raised lamb bought directly from the farm costs around 13-14 euros per kilogramme, while butchered steaks cost around 17 euros per kg.

The price of Finnish lamb tenderloin runs around 32 euros/kg, while lamb loins cost 16 euros/kg and ground lamb is about 13 euros/kg.

Meanwhile, imported frozen lamb and mutton can be found at significantly lower prices in supermarkets.

Eggs and unique Easter dessert mämmi

Grocery store egg shelves are often bare in the run-up to Easter, but this year that does not appear to be the case.

Egg prices have also remained steady for the past few years. A pack of 10 conventionally-raised eggs in Finland normally costs around 1.30 euros, and often sold for less than a euro around Easter-time.

The demand for organically-raised eggs has steadily increased over the past few years, and production has started to meet consumers' needs. The price of organic eggs - which not long ago were much more expensive than conventional ones - has gradually been dropping.

Story continues after photo.

Helsinkiläisessä ravintolassa mämmikattaus näyttää arjen luksukselta.
Mämmi with cream and sugar. Image: Yle

Mämmi, Finland's unique, malt- and treacle-based Easter dessert treat, can also be found in organic and other variations. One gluten-free version of mämmi replaces rye flour with potato and buckwheat and the malt is substituted with honey.

The most affordable 700-gram packages of the thick, brown and sticky dessert cost well under two euros, but prices can vary substantially.

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