Although the largest Finnish animal feed producers have avoided genetically modified raw materials up to now, there are increasing economic pressures to adopt GM produce.
Much of the soy used as a basic ingredient of Finnish animal feed comes from South America. Today over 10% of soy beans are genetically modified, with the proportion of altered soy increasing worldwide.
In this situation, more and more Finnish feed producers have been forced to reassess where they stand as regards genetically modified goods.
According to Kari Tillanen, CEO of LSO Food, the price difference between genetically modified and non-modified produce is already nearly two-fold.
Up to now, the big Finnish feed producers such as Suomen Rehu and Rehuraisio have committed themselves not to use modified raw materials.
This may change, however, as smaller feed producers capture more of the market with their cheaper GM produce.
A small company from Satakunta, for example, has managed to grab a quarter of the chicken feed market with its GM modified chicken feed.
Significant amounts of GM soy is already being imported to Finland. With stiffening competition, Rehuaisio CEO Leif Liedes admits that in the long run, the big feed companies can hardly afford to be crusaders for non-genetically modified foods.
According to Jukka Rantala from Finland's Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK), four out of five kilos of Christmas ham and chicken will still be GM-free this year.
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