Country of origin of strawberries and new potatoes must be indicated

12.5.2014

<p>Wholesalers, distributors and retailers must always indicate the country of origin for strawberries and new potatoes. The regulation also covers market traders. Particularly at the start of the selling season, foreign produce may be claimed to be grown in Finland to attract a higher price. If a buyer has doubts regarding the origin of the produce, it should be reported to the municipal health inspector.</p>

In spring and early summer, strawberries and early crop potatoes are imported to Finland from Sweden, Estonia and other more southern countries. It is impossible for the consumer to tell from appearance, whether or not the strawberries or new potatoes were grown in Finland. The buyer may be suspicious if Finnish strawberries or potatoes are on sale unusually early or at an exceptionally low price.

“It is easy to claim that the strawberries or potatoes were grown in Finland, as the same varieties are grown in the neighbouring countries. Same varieties look the same, whether they were grown in Finland or elsewhere,” says Senior Officer Niina Matilainen from the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira.

Country of origin on packaging and sale signs

All packing boxes and pre-packaged berries, fruit and vegetables must indicate the  name and the address of the packer, as well as the country of origin of the produce. The origin of the produce can be traced from this information.

When berries, fruit and vegetables are sold loose, the country of origin must be indicated on a sale sign. The marking must be clearly ‘Finland’ or ‘Finnish’. The Finnish flag, ‘sirkkalehti’ label or ‘domestic produce’ are not enough.

The origin of imported potatoes must always be indicated. For the sake of clarity, the country of origin should also be indicated on the sale sign of Finnish new potatoes sold loose.

 

Read on:
Labelling requirements for fresh fruit and vegetables
The buyer has the right to know the origin of strawberries 
Food control authorities

Further information:
Senior Officer Niina Matilainen, t. +358 (0)400 706 173

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