Oikarinen made DG of Finnish Food Authority

14 Sep 2018, 01:22

  DF Report

Antti-Jussi Oikarinen. Press Release Photo.

The government has appointed Antti-Jussi Oikarinen as Director-General of the Finnish Food Authority, a new authority named comprising the Finnish Food Safety Authority, the Finnish Agency for Rural Affairs and a part of the National Land Survey of Finland’s Centre for ICT Services will come into operation from next year. 

The five-year term will begin on 8 October 2018, said a press release issued by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on Thursday.

The Director-General will first work on the preparations for the new Authority at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. In the beginning of 2019 the post will move to the Finnish Food Authority in Seinäjoki. 
A total 15 aspirants contested for the the post.

Oikarinen has been the Director-General of the Finnish Agency for Rural Affairs since 2017.  Before that, he worked as Director of Department at the Finnish Agency for Rural Affairs and Director-General at the South Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.

The new Finnish Food Authority will be set up on 1 January 2019.

The Authority, with headquarters placed in Seinäjoki, will operate under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The Authority has a staff of more than 1 000 in 20 locations, and its operations cover the whole country.

The Finnish Food Authority promotes, supervises and studies food safety and quality, animal health and welfare, and plant health. The tasks comprise fertiliser products, feedingstuffs, plant protection products, seeds, and planting material used in agriculture and forestry. The Authority is responsible for the management of the EAGF and EAFRD funds in Finland, functions as the Finnish Paying Agency, and sees to the implementation of the EU and national support schemes.

“The aim of the new organisation is to strengthen the societal role and impact of the Authority in agricultural policy and management of the food chain. At first, we must further strengthen our competencies in information management and create a smooth and well-functioning corporate culture. The development of our operations will be even more customer-driven than before,” said  Antti-Jussi Oikarinen.

“The Authority wants to be a reliable partner to the players in the food chain and do its part to boost security and competitiveness in the entire chain. Inputs from all stakeholders - including the new administrative organisation and the Finnish Food Authority as part of it - are needed in order that the food system brings wellbeing to all,” he added.