Consumers in Finland are increasingly choosing to buy organic produce rather than conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables. According to researchers at Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), it is not only deep-pocketed shoppers anymore.
Not long ago, consumers looked at often pricier organic foods as treats for the wealthy, but Luke said that has changed. Now, consumers at all income levels are increasingly interested in buying organic.
It is becoming increasingly common for the less well-to-do to buy organically grown product, as consumers across the board are making their decisions based on environmental and quality concerns. Organic foods are grown and raised without using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals.
The institute monitors the production and sale of foodstuffs in Finland, and said in its annual report that the organic food market is growing quickly in the country as well as around the world.
Researchers at Luke said that the mindsets of consumers regarding organic food have undergone a transformation of sorts. Now, people increasingly consider organic produce to be healthy, genuine and authentic.
Still behind Nordic neighbours
However, despite the recent growth, Finland still has some way to go to catch up with some of its Nordic neighbours in terms of organic food.
Only 2.4 percent of the foods bought in Finland last year were organically sourced. In Sweden, for example that proportion is 10 percent and 13 percent in Denmark.
But the Luke researchers said Finland's organic food sector is growing by 10 percent per year.
The production levels of some organically-raised products have increased significantly in recent years. During the 2000s, the production of organic milk quadrupled, with nearly 70 million litres of it produced last year.
Around seven percent of the eggs sold in Finland are organic, which represents a triple in production since 2010, while some 13 percent of Finland's farming land area was organically certified last year, according to the institute.