[BILD] Mission Contact News Home [BILD] Home > Other > News > Meetings > Helsinki Biomass and fibres Downloads Interesting Links [BILD] [BILD] [BILD] [BILD] [BILD] [BILD] [BILD] [BILD] [BILD] [BILD] Meetings Reports Tipps Helsinki Riga Wroclaw Ume Final Conference Wismar Second regional meeting, Helsinki 26-27 August 2002 [BILD] Second Regional Meeting - Helsinki The first day was devoted to a members meeting, while the second day included local stakeholders. The meetings were organised by the TTS Institute. Members present: Anna-Maija Kirkkari TTS, Finland Elina Muutomaa TTS, Finland Gundega Lapina LTC, Latvia Jrg Khn Innovationsgesellschaft GmbH, Germany Anna Grzybek IBMER, Poland Piotr Pasyniuk IBMER, Poland Rolf Olsson SLU, Sweden Tnis Eerme Tartu Science Park Foundation Michael Rustand BECT, Denmark Finn Rexen Bioraf, Denmark Not present: U.Wurdel ATI Kste, Germany Jan Koch IRC, Poland Kastytis Gecas Lithuania Innovation Centre Monday 26th 2002 - Members meeting Place: The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) Simonkatu 6 10.00 10.10 Welcome, Anna-Maija Kirkkari and Finn Rexen 10.10 10.30 Welcome, The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) 10.30 11.00 Coffee break 11.00 Approval of minutes form the first regional meeting 11.00 - 12.30 Questionnaires and virtual factories - Experiences and results from IBMER, Poland - Experiences and results from Bornholm, Denmark, Michael Rustand, Finn Rexen - General discussion 12.30 13.30 Lunch 13.30 14.30 First discussion on the challenges involved in establishing agro-industrial SME's in the regions around the Baltic Sea. Ways and means to overcome the barriers 14.30 15.00 Web site, Jrg Khn 15.00 15.30 Coffee break 15.30 16.30 Meeting of IRE thematic network co-ordinators, 23 May 2002 in Luxembourg, Finn Rexen 16.30 17.00 Any other business Tuesday 27th 2002 - Stakeholders meeting Place: The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) Simonkatu 6 8.30 9.00 Coffee 9.00 9.15 Welcome and presentation of the TTS institute, Anna-Maija Kirkkari 9.15 9.30 Presentation of Basan, Finn Rexen 9.30 10.30 Presentation of Camelina Ltd., success story, Karita Aln, Production of Camelina sativa virgin oil, dressing, relish etc., www.camelina.fi/engl.htm 10.30 11.00 Presentation of Food Centre from University of Helsinki, Viikki Actual situation for agro-food and agro-industrial production in the Finnish Baltic Sea regions 11.00 11.30 Presentation of Biowatti, success story, Martti Savolainen, Biowatti procures logging chips, pellets and briquettes. www.biowatti.fi 11.30 12.30 Lunch 12.30 13.00 Diversification in Finnish agriculture, future trends, Marjo Keskitalo, Agrifood Research Finland 13.30 14.00 Production and multifunctional industrial processing of new fibercrops from agriculture in the Baltic Sea area, Rolf Olsson 14.00 14.30 Establishing agro-industrial SME's in Finlands Baltic Sea regions: Incentives and constraints (tools: virtual factories, questionnaires)? 14.30 15.00 Coffee break Chairman: Elina Muuttomaa Network members meeting, 26 August 2002 Agenda: 1. Welcome 2. Approval of agenda 3. Approval of minutes from first regional meeting 4. Questionnaires and virtual factories a. Experiences and results from Poland (IBMER) b. Experiences and results from Denmark (Bioraf) 5. First discussion on the challenges involved in establishing agro-industrial SMEs in the regions around the Baltic Sea. Ways and means to overcome barriers 6. The Basan web-site 7. Meeting of thematic network co-ordinators, 23 may 2002 in Luxembourg 8. Any other business 1. Welcome Elina Muuttomaa and Finn Rexen welcomed, and xxxx from the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest owners (CUAPFO) gave an introduction to the current situation in Finnish agriculture. top Finnish agriculture CUAPFO CUAPFO has 180.000 members, including farmers, forest owners and rural entrepreneurs. It has 16 regional offices, and it issues a newspaper three times a week. In total there are 74.000 farms in Finland. Average farm size is 28 ha, however Finnish agriculture experiences large structural changes these years. The number of small farms is rapidly decreasing and the average farm size is increasing accordingly. The total amount of cultivated land is stable. Finnish agriculture includes the most Nordic (altitude) situated farmers in Europe. Even arctic farming is practised in Northern Finland. The short growing season and low temperatures limit the number of crops that can be grown to ripeness. Finland is self sufficient in food. It even has a surplus of milk that in some years surpasses the EU quota given to Finland. Surplus milk is processed into cheese and milk powder and exported to Russia, USA and Europe. Subsidies are very important for Finnish farmers economy. Finland is one of the few countries in the Union that is allowed to give national subsidies to farmers in addition to EU subsidies. (Part of the Finnish agreement with the Commission). These subsidies may fade out during 2003, which will create serious problems for many Finnish farmers and require substantial changes in production patterns. The government will concentrate more on rural entrepreneurs in the future. The farmers have an advisory system that is separated from the farmers union. The number of organic farmers has increased during recent years, and today organic food is produced on 120.000 ha (6 –7 % of total land), the consumption of organic food is however stagnating. As small rural enterprises like e.g. slaughterhouses have problems with hygienic standards, the animals are often slaughtered and processed in large centralised units, where also the added value is created. 2. Approval of agenda The agenda was approved without changes 3. Approval of minutes from first regional meeting The minutes from last meeting were approved without changes top 4. Polish agriculture Piotr Pasyniuk Piotr Pasyniuk from IBMER gave a report on Polish agriculture, and he told about the results from the questionnaire survey. (The paper in its full length is attached to these minutes). Poland is the 9th largest country in Europe with 312 000 km. The total number of inhabitants is 38,5 million, of which 38 % live in rural areas. In the year 2.000 the total number of farms was 1,9 million (in comparison there are 7 million farms in the whole of EU of 15). The number is slightly decreasing and the average size of farms is increasing. The average farm size is today 9,6 ha, which however is still much lower than the EU average of 18,4 ha. The number of people employed in Polish agriculture and forestry is high, 18,9 %, compared to the EU average of 4,5 %. The unemployment rate in rural areas is alarmingly high – 43,8 %. Much higher than the country average of 15 %. Major crops are cereals - 71 % of arable land - rape-seed, sugar beet and potatoes. Poland is the second largest producer of potatoes in Europe, and no. 3 in the World. Poland has a slight deficit in cereals and surplus in potatoes and sugar beet. Water resources are scarce in Poland. Structural changes in Polish agriculture are strongly needed. The necessary financial means, however, are lacking. Polish farmers are in general well-educated and skilled in plant growing and post harvest technologies. But most farmers are traditional farmers. Poland is not considered to be well suited for production of speciality crops like medicinal plants and non-food crops due to low soil fertility. (This statement may not be totally correct in all cases. In fact many non-food crops are well suited for poor soils - e.g. lupins and some cereal varieties). Polish farmers in general are conservative, however the number of farmers willing to change traditional production practises is growing. They have however poor access to information and education concerning e.g. new farming systems, business planning, book keeping etc. Summary of responses to questionnaires 1. Investment strategy Investors interest in agro-biotechnology is high, while the interest in investing in plant and animal production is low. The agro-sector is considered to be a low-profit area, and the pay back time for investments is too long for most investors. 2. Investment in agro-bioindustries Investment banks, investment funds and local authorities prefer to invest in projects that: Create new jobs Improve infrastructure Are environmentally friendly 3. Major barriers for creating new value added enterprises There are many barriers to overcome for entrepreneurs, who might want to establish new agro-industrial enterprises in the rural districts in Poland. For example: Poor infrastructure Location far from the markets No access to technical and financial advise No local investment and venture capital No easy access to public funds due to low interest in financing bio-based activities amongst local investors. No access to skilled labour Farmers have no experience in specialised crops Weak agro-business base No interest amongst producers to change field of activities No access to incentives like: Tax abatements Low-interest loans