Finnish food sector is surviving COVID crisis, but prices may rise

According to a new report from the Natural Resources Center of Finland (Luke), Finland's domestic food market has functioned well during the Corona crisis. The research institute said that it does not expect major changes in average food prices for consumers, but noted that the cost of some seasonal fruits and vegetables may increase somewhat toward the end of the year.

The three-month long state of emergency which the country just emerged from on Tuesday had an effect on consumers' food demands, which is a development expected to weaken profitability in the sector, according to the report.

The institute said that the food supply chain was not directly threatened by the epidemic crisis, but the conditions did pose a sort of stress test for the sector.

However, Luke researcher Jyrki Niemi said the country's food supply chain could experience difficulties further down the line if the coronavirus crisis were to continue for more than a year.

"There would be a great deal of uncertainty within the food sector if large numbers of farmers and food chain workers were to become seriously ill with the coronavirus at the same time, and for example, food logistics chains were disrupted," Niemi said in an organisation statement, adding that if such a scenario played out, food prices could rise.

Niemi said the decline in international demand and exports, as well as restrictive measures put in place in Finland, has caused economic forecasts to turn for the worse - a situation which will affect consumer demand for food products.

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