Finland’s soils and inland waters are much more acidic than those in most other EU countries. Because of these exceptional soil and water conditions special efforts are needed to control related risks, quality and safety. Key priorities in this context include the need to ensure low heavy metal content in the fertiliser products used in agriculture, horticulture, landscaping and forestry.
Limiting cadmium and increasing selenium
Studies have shown that Finland’s soils and inland waters are particularly sensitive to the negative impacts of cadmium. Finland and certain other EU countries are authorised to impose limits on the maximum concentrations of cadmium in fertilisers. Consequently the cadmium concentrations in fertiliser products used in Finnish arable farming, horticulture and landscaping are very low. Similarly due to climatic and geochemical factors concentrations of selenium are lower in Finland than in most other parts of the world. Because of its positive health impacts in humans and animals, selenium has been added to the fertilisers used here for over 20 years.
Controls over fertilisers
National fertiliser legislation ensures that all fertiliser products placed on the market in Finland are safe, of high quality, and suitable for plant production. This legislation also aims to promote the utilisation of by-products suitable for use as fertilisers, provided that they have a proven positive impact on plant growth, and constitute no risk to humans, animals, plants or the environment.
All fertiliser products imported or marketed in Finland must be included either in the national list of fertiliser type designations, or where EC fertilisers are concerned, in the list of fertiliser type designations specified in Annex I to EC Regulation 2003/2003.
The use of fertiliser products in Finland is controlled by the Finnish Food Safety Authority (Evira).