The Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland 2014–2020 offers various tools for the development of food businesses. Basic information can be found in the programme’s publications, and the experts with the project may be contacted for further assistance.
New companies and businesses looking to expand may apply for funding from the programme. Not intended only for farm-owners, these subsidies may also be applied for by other food businesses.
Several funding schemes exist, to meet specific needs. Start-up support is designed to assist in the establishment of a new company, changing of an existing company’s operations, or experimental activities. Investment support is intended for companies looking to make acquisitions. The investment feasibility study subsidies provide assistance in planning of investments. Food-sector joint projects assistance is available for a group of companies planning both company-specific and joint business development measures. The goal may be to develop new products and methods, form shorter delivery chains, undertake marketing and sales collaboration, or develop joint product ranges.
The support and its terms and conditions are determined on the basis of whether the company processes agricultural products or produces foodstuffs. Further information is available in the following brochures about the Agricultural Fund for Rural Development:
The website of the Agency for Rural Affairs offers further information on business subsidies. A brief introduction to the support schemes is available in Finnish at www.aitojamakuja.fi/arkisto/Ruokayritysten_tuet_2016.pdf.
Finland’s local food co-ordination project has also published other material, guides, and instructions for food businesses. You can read more at www.aitojamakuja.fi under ‘Materials’.