Nordic cooperation related to the food industry
Finland (Evira), Sweden (Livsmedelsverket), Norway (Mattilsynet), Denmark (Fødevarestyrelsen) and Iceland (MAST) participate in such cooperation. In addition, the Baltic countries participate in some working groups.
Working groups and project meetings, which circulate between the nordic countries, are organised on an annual basis. In general, each country has two representatives, one of whom may, for example, represent supervision of the food control and the other research.
Such extensive and well-organised cooperation has no equivalent between the other EU countries.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry directs Finland's participation in this Nordic cooperation, which is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers
Cooperation in relation to working groups, ventures and projects
This cooperation involves four main groups, under which various working groups, undertakings and projects are active.
- Nordic Working Group for Diet, Food & Toxicology (NKMT).
- Nordic Working Group for Food Safety & Consumer Information (NMF). This group handles issues such as an allergy project, collaboration between legal advisers and an annually organised Nordic supervisory conference.
- The Nordic Working Group for Microbiology & Animal Health and Welfare (NMDD).
- Nordic Committee on Food Analysis (NMKL).
The Nordic countries also contact each other and engage in discussions, on issues such as international food crises.
Some cooperation is unfunded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, such as the Nordic-Baltic Joint Working Group for Networking in the Seed Sector.
Cooperation also forms the basis for EU activities
Nordic cooperation broadens the perspective of the participants, increases information exchange, provides training on topical issues and promotes the common interpretation of EU regulations. Such cooperation supports and complements work related to the EU. Statements prepared in concert by the Nordic countries have a further reaching impact within EU bodies than standpoints presented by individual countries.
Nordic cooperation results in benefits such as international analysis methods. As another example of such benefits, a set of guidelines on the control of foodstuff contact materials has been drawn up based on Nordic cooperation.