Finland consumes more beef that it is currently able to produce. HKScan has launched an ambitious investment program aiming to increase the volume of responsibly-produced, high-quality domestic beef production both among the company’s existing producers and new contract farmers. The project’s aim is to encourage contract farmers to boost their output volumes.

“Consumers want 100% traceable meat on their plates in line with our ‘From Farm to Fork’ chain. The demand for traceability is pushing a growing number of consumers to choose for example domestic beef. If the current trend continues, however, there will not be enough domestically produced beef to cover our future needs. We are today in a situation where it is high time to halt the decline in our level of self-sufficiency,” states HKScan CEO Jari Latvanen.

HKScan aims to increase its stock of suckler cows by 3200 head by the end of 2025. This represents a 15 per cent increase in HKScan's suckler cow stock and a corresponding nationwide increase of five per cent. Finland’s current self-sufficiency rate in beef production is approximately 80 per cent.

“The program has been very well received – the response has exceeded our expectations. Within just a few weeks, we have already signed on 15 new contract farmers, which will add 900 new suckler cows to our production chain. I believe we will attain our target of 3 200 new suckler cows soon,” says Pia Nybäck, Executive Vice President of Animal Sourcing & Primary Production.

Unique opportunity to upgrade farms

Farms signing up for the Strategic Beef program will receive an investment bonus for all new suckler cows added to their stock. The investment bonus will be paid over a period of five years.

To support farmers with expansions, HKScan will share its cost-efficient breeding models and the know-how of its farm engineering experts during the implementation of the project. HKScan will also provide additional support services to expanding farms, including animal feed planning, veterinary health services and other advisory services.

“HKScan’s Strategic Beef program provides valuable support to start-up farmers and farms looking to invest in new suckler cows. It also provides a clear, realistic template for collaboration between meat producers and HKScan,” says Cecilia Rosenlew, one of the beef producers taking part in the program.

Antibiotic-free beef now sold under the Tamminen brand

Amid the rising popularity of home cooking and TV cookery shows, today’s consumers appreciate great flavour and clean, traceable raw ingredients. These rising trends are boosting interest in high-quality meat produced from beef cattle.

HKScan has been actively involved in advancing the production of beef cattle over the past few years.

“Our beef cattle production comes with a guarantee that the livestock are raised on farms enabling a maximum amount of natural animal behavior. This means that calves are allowed to graze freely with mother cows, the farms are sufficiently spacious, and the stall pens are bedded with straw or peat. We also make a special effort to minimize the use of medication and to favor eco-friendly feeds. These are important assets when it comes to serving the world’s most demanding customers,” says Nybäck.

Beef cattle meat produced as part of the HKScan chain is available to Finnish consumers under the Tamminen brand. In February 2018, Tamminen celebrated the market launch of new 100% antibiotic-free beef cattle products produced in collaboration with HKScan’s contract farmers. The new product family includes a comprehensive range of consumer-packaged beef products. (https://www.tamminen.fi/tuotteet/uutuudet /, www.rotukarja.fi ).

Core strengths of Finnish meat production

All HK and Kariniemen brand products are made exclusively from domestically produced meat. Finland guarantees excellent standards of livestock health and very strict standards of animal welfare. Extensive work is done to prevent animal diseases. HKScan’s From Farm to Fork chain comes with a guarantee of superior quality thanks to HKScan’s close collaboration with expert contract farmers, backed up by strict legislation and supervision by the authorities. The domestic food chain also supports the community by providing jobs and ensuring domestic food security. Locally grown food is also eco-friendly and climate-friendly.