Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry: Antti-Jussi Oikarinen appointed as Director-General of the Finnish Food Authority

13.9.2018 14:15

The Finnish Government has appointed M.Sc. (agriculture and forestry) Antti-Jussi Oikarinen as Director-General of the Finnish Food Authority that will start in the beginning of 2019. The five-year term will begin on 8 October 2018. The Director-General will first work on the preparations for the new Authority at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. In the beginning of 2019 the post will move to the Finnish Food Authority in Seinäjoki. A total 15 persons applied for the post.

Antti-Jussi Oikarinen has been the Director-General of the Finnish Agency for Rural Affairs since 2017. Before that, he worked as Director of Department at the Finnish Agency for Rural Affairs and Director-General at the South Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.

The new Finnish Food Authority will be set up on 1 January 2019 by the merger of the Finnish Food Safety Authority, Finnish Agency for Rural Affairs, and part of the IT services of the National Land Survey of Finland. The Authority, with headquarters placed in Seinäjoki, will operate under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The Authority has a staff of more than 1 000 in 20 locations, and its operations cover the whole country.

The Finnish Food Authority promotes, supervises and studies food safety and quality, animal health and welfare, and plant health. The tasks comprise fertiliser products, feedingstuffs, plant protection products, seeds, and planting material used in agriculture and forestry. The Authority is responsible for the management of the EAGF and EAFRD funds in Finland, functions as the Finnish Paying Agency, and sees to the implementation of the EU and national support schemes.

The Director-General will lead the Authority, create and implement a harmonised leadership culture and operating model, and respond to the trends in the operating environment.

"The aim of the new organisation is to strengthen the societal role and impact of the Authority in agricultural policy and management of the food chain. At first, we must further strengthen our competencies in information management and create a smooth and well-functioning corporate culture. The development of our operations will be even more customer-driven than before", Antti-Jussi Oikarinen says.

The Authority wants to be a reliable partner to the players in the food chain and do its part to boost security and competitiveness in the entire chain. Inputs from all stakeholders - including the new administrative organisation and the Finnish Food Authority as part of it - are needed in order that the food system brings wellbeing to all.

Inquiries:

Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. +358 40 029 1910, firstname.lastname@mmm.fi

Antti-Jussi Oikarinen, Director-General, Finnish Agency for Rural Affairs, tel. +358 295 312 495, firstname.lastname@mavi.fi (available for contact from Monday 18 September 2018)

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