December 14, 2010
Finland's companies face price pressure to take up GM feed
Although the largest Finnish feed producers have avoided genetically modified (GM) 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 feed comes from South America. Today, over 10% of soy is 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. The price difference between genetically modified and non-modified produce is already nearly two-fold, according to Kari Tillanen, CEO of LSO Food.
Up to now, the big Finnish feed producers such as Suomen Rehu and Rehuraisio have committed themselves not to use GM raw materials. This may change, however, as smaller feed manufacturers capture more of the market with cheaper GM produce. A small company from Satakunta, for example, has managed to grab a quarter of the chicken feed market with its GM feed.
A significant amount of GM soy is already being imported to Finland. With stiffer competition, Rehuaisio CEO Leif Liedes admits that in the long run, the major feed companies can hardly afford to be advocates for non-GM foods.