A majority of Finns would happily pay more for their food if it was produced by greener farming methods.
The results of a new survey showed that almost four out of five of those quizzed put cost in second place compared to how environmentally friendly their food was produced.
Finland’s Natural Resources Institute grouped ecological benefits into three scenarios, which were then put to 600 citizens in the survey.
Some 79 per cent said they would be willing to pay a premium for food derived from farms where diverse cropping was underway.
Research has shown that Finland’s farmland is suffering from declining soil quality.
However, there is a push to introduce more green farming elements, such as incorporating multiple species, hedgerows and grassy edges, and embracing soil conservation methods like rotational cropping to counteract this decline.
Such changes, it is argued, would increase carbon sequestration in the soil, reduce nutrient run-off and pollution from farms, and boost soil organic carbon, among other things.
The survey also revealed an eclectic selection of priorities among those questioned – with respondents ranking greater domestic food production as the thing they most wanted to see.
That was followed by decreased nutrient pollution from farmland, greater carbon sequestration in the soil, and the provision of more rural jobs.
The Natural Resources Institute re-searchers said the consumer insights provided by the survey was one way to “fund future transition towards more sustainable food production”.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.