Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Suomen maa- ja metsätalousministeriö)


This post is an informative journalistic coverage of a PR event with editorial & reportage elements that do not aim to promote any business, organisation, product or service.

On the day of publication, I am a member of Ruokatoimittajat ry (Finnish Food Writers' Association), and attended at this PR event as a food writer (not as an influencer).


I arrived at the campus of Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences to spend the afternoon at the Nimisuojapäivä 2024 /Name Protection Day/ event and learn more about the EU's name protection scheme while getting familiar with the Finnish products that are already protected.

But what is the name protection scheme? Why is it good for both the consumer and the producer?

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

The European Community's scheme has been implemented in 1993 with the goal to protect agricultural products and foodstuffs traditionally made in specific areas or distinguishable by unique methods or ingredients.

The registration of the name has many benefits:

  • it ensures consistency in origin, raw materials, and manufacturing methods
  • it brings added value to the product by proving that the origin, raw materials and manufacturing method are known and -regardless of the manuafturer-, consistent;
  • it avoids imitation and misuse of established names.

The registration can only be initiated by groups of producers: except a few special cases, individual producers cannot apply for the protection. The process has two phases:

  1. The national review of the application is performed by the Agency for Rural Affairs, followed by the issuance of a decision on the registration of the name. Fees might apply at national level.
  2. Then the application is forwarded to the Commission to be reviewed on the EU level, followed by the actual registration of the name. The procedure is free of charge at the EU level and the protection is valid forever.

As a result, over 1300 products - mainly cheeses, fruits, vegetables, meats, and olive oils- have been registered within the EU. While all of these registered names has a high significance, some of them grown to be world-famous, while others are only known on national level - so it is a common misconception that only world-famous products can be protected.

The average applicable price premium to a product with a protected name is somewhere between x2.1 - x2.5 in comparison to other, non-protected products.

After the registration process, there is another important opportunity that is often forgotten by the producers. Protected names can receive marketing support from the EU and can participate in international campaigns in order to promote their products internationally.

There are three schemes for the protection of names (governing refulation:(EU) No 1151/2012 ). Protected designation of origin (PDO) and protected geographical indication (PGI) restrict production to traditional geographical areas (geographical indication - GI), while traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG) protects traditional methods and ingredients, without geographical limitations. PDO & PGI are also provide internationally recognised intellectual property rights to the protected names.

At present, Finland has 12 food products + 2 alcoholic beverages that has been granted name protection.

Protected designation of origin (PDO)

- Source of logo: European Commission

The production, processing, and handling of the product must happen within a specific geographical area, in which the protected product's quality and characteristics are rooted.

Finnish PDO products:

  • Lapin Puikula – potato from Lapland
  • Lapin Poron liha – reindeer meat from Lapland
  • Lapin poron kuivaliha – dried reindeer meat from Lapland
  • Lapin Poron kylmäsavuliha – cold-smoked reindeer meat from Lapland
  • Kitkan viisas - vendace caught in the lakes of the Koillismaa highlands, that has a typically soft backbone

Other European PDO product examples:

  • Parmigiano Reggiano – parmesan cheese (Italy)
  • Feta cheese (Greece)
  • Kalocsai paprika powder (Hungary)
Protected designation of origin (PDO)

Protected geographical indication (PGI)

- Source of logo: European Commission

At least one of the production, processing, or handling steps must happen at a specific geographical area to which the product's quality or reputation is linked to, while some raw materials can arrive from outside of this area.

Finnish PGI products:

  • Kainuun rönttönen – rye crust pie with lingonberries
  • Puruveden muikku – vendace caught in Lake Puruvesi
  • Aito saunapalvikunkku - ham smoked in a smoke sauna
  • Suonenjoen mansikka (PGI) - strawberry from Suonenjoki
  • Suomalainen marjalikööri, Suomalainen hedelmälikööri - Finnish berry liqueur, Finnish fruit liqueur
  • Suomalainen vodka - vodka of Finland 

Other European PGI product examples:

  • Schwarzwald ham (Germany)
  • Lübeck marzipan (Germany)
  • Gyulai kolbász (Hungary)
Protected geographical indication (PGI)

Traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG)

- Source of logo: European Commission

Emphasizes the traditional composition or production method, not the origin. TSG products can be made anywhere in the EU but must follow the registered method and ingredients. If the name is reserved in the application, only compliant products can use it - otherwise, other products can freely use the same name.

Finnish TSG products:

  1. Sahti beer
  2. Kalakukko – fish and pork pie
  3. Karjalanpiirakka – Karelian pasty

Other European TSG product examples:

  1. Pizza Napoletana (Italy)
  2. Serrano ham / Jamón serrano) (Spain)
  3. Crackling patty / Tepertős pogácsa) (Hungary)
Traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG)

During the event, I had the opportunity to try delicious tasting bites prepared by the members of the Finnish national chef team. Naturally, each dish represented one of the protected products.

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Sahti (TSG)

Sahti beer

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Limeaioli Karjalanpiirakka (TSG) & salvia-munavoi

Lime aioli Karelian pie & sage egg butter

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Kakakukko (TSG)

Fish and pork pie

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Kainuun rönttönen (PGI)

Rye pie with lingonberries and potato from Kainuu

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Lapin poron lihaa (PDO) ja kantarelleja

Reindeer meat from Lapland and chanterelles

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Lapin Puikulaa (PDO) ja parsaa ja luomukananmunaa

Potato from Lapland, asparagus and organic egg

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Aito saunapalvikinkku (PGI) - sipuli tarteletti / piirakka

Ham smoked in a smoke sauna - onion tartlet

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio


Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Minipavlovat Suonenjoen mansikasta (PGI)

Mini pavlovas with strawberry from Suonenjoki

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Suomalainen marjaliööri (PGI) - suklaakonvehdit

Finnish berry liquor chocolates

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Suomalainen vodka (PGI) bonbon

Finnish vodka bonbon

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Photo by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

Sörmlands Ädel (PGI)

Swedish Sörmlands Ädel blue cheese

The Name Protection Day was not only about food tasting but also had a great panel of speakers, covered the following topics:

"Geographical Indications, their added value and advantages"

Katarina Barathova, European Comission

"Turismi maabrändin käyntikorttina? Matkailun merkitys ruokatuotteiden imagon rakentamisessa ja viestinnässä."

Hanna Kallioniemi, NLUX

"Erityiseksi todettu - mutta tuoko nimisuojaus lisäarvoa?"

Annika Koivu, Kaiku

"Mansikalla maineeseen ja nimisuojalla maailmalle - Suonenjoen mansikka nyt ja tulevaisuudessa"

Pauliina Kovanen, Suonenjoen mansikka

"Alkoholijuomat ja nimisuoja"

Susanna Heikkinen, Suomen alkoholijuomakauppa r.y. (SAJK) /Association of Alcoholic Beverage Suppliers in Finland/

Minister's speech

Sari Essayah, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

"Miten Ruotsi hyödyntää EU-nimisuojajärjestelmää"

– Maud Gustafsson-Fahlbeck, Livsmedelsverket /Swedish Food Agency/ & Malena Bathurst, Jordbruksverket /The Swedish Board of Agriculture/

– Kerstin Jürss, Jürss Mejeri, about their Sörmlands Ädel (SMM) cheese

– video greeting of Riina Myrsell, Skedvi Bröd

"Miten rekisteröit erikoislaatuisen tuotteesi? - Suomalaisten elintarvikkeiden hakemustilanne tänään"

Piritta Sokura, Ruokavirasto /Finnish Food Authority/

"EU-rahoitusta nimisuojatuotteiden markkinointiin"

Eveliina Viitanen, Ruokavirasto /Finnish Food Authority/

"Strateginen näkökulma nimisuojaan- mitä italialaiset edellä, sitä suomalaiset perässä"

Marjo Särkkä, Helsingin liopiston Ruralia-Institutti /University of Helsinki's Ruralia Institute/

I had the pleasure of attending this informative PR event organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Suomen maa- ja metsätalousministeriö) of Finland, and the Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto) - special thanks to Jertta de Mazières for coordinating this important event.

You can read more about the scheme for the protection of names for agricultural products and foodstuffs on the Finnish Food Authority's related webpage here + see more insights and photos on my Instagram.


The organiser has not set any special criteria and has not initiated any financial/alternative compensation that would require the creation of any written or visual content related to this PR event nor any promotion any products/services in exchange for attendance - but I decided to share my experience anyway because I think you'd enjoy exclusive insights from my recent gastro adventure. Any PR products/services/raffle prizes handed out by the organisers, other participants or exhibitors (if applicable) were not a form of compensation, nor part of an exchange agreement.