Food Marches held in marketplaces in Finland

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HELSINKI, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Food Marches appeared Friday in marketplaces in towns in eastern and northern Finland, with farmers coming out in force with their tractors.

Jyrki Wallin, from the central union of Finnish agricultural producers and forest owners, said on national radio that only 20 percent of Finnish farmers are making good profits, while the rest rely heavily on public subsidies to remain profitable.

Speaking to reporters, a milk farmer in Ylivieska explained that his milk production costs exceed his income from the dairy industry, and subsidies cover the difference. However, he has not been able to accumulate any reserve funds for farm investments.

"There is a lot of money in the food chain, but the retail giants keep most of it and make significant profits," Wallin said. "We are not calling for higher prices at supermarket checkouts, but we demand a larger share of the total profits of the food chain," he added.

Meanwhile, Jyrki Niemi, a research professor at the Finnish Natural Resources Institute (Luke), said producers should be able to form sales unions to improve their competitive edge in negotiations with the retail sector and industries.

"EU laws already allow some form of cooperation in sales, but it requires a lot of initiative. Of course, much depends on the business abilities of the farmers as well," he added.

Despite the modest overall level of profits, the position of farms has improved from the decline seen in the middle of the last decade, Niemi said.

The number of farms in Finland has declined in recent decades. In 2010, there were approximately 60,000 farms, but by 2022, this number had decreased to 43,000. Enditem

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