Sustainability is the cornerstone of well organized sheep farming. It ensures the well-being of sheep, the environment, and all those working with sheep.

It all starts with the well-being of the sheep, and we do everything in our power to ensure that they live a healthy and species-specific life. This is the guarantee for sheep’s well-being. For sheep, this means living in a herd, grazing, receiving proper nutrition, and having a safe living environment. A content sheep is a healthy sheep with natural resistance preventing illnesses. We monitor the well-being of our sheep on a daily basis.

Grazing is typical behavior for sheep

Grazing is a way for sheep to eat, move, and maintain their social interactions. On our member farms, the grazing season for sheep begins in the spring when the growing season starts and ends in the fall when there is no more food available outdoors.

Through grazing, sheep help maintain endangered traditional landscapes such as pastures and meadows. These traditional landscapes have become overgrown in Finland. Grazing in these areas not only preserves the landscape but also enables the vitality of endangered species living there. Grazing is environmental maintenance at its best because sheep can utilize weeds as their own food.

A diverse mixture of grasses and hay is cultivated on our sheep farms as food for the sheep. The aim on sheep farms is to achieve self-sufficiency, so that the majority of the sheep’s food is produced on the farm itself. Diverse cultivation means that the same field contains a variety of plants suitable for sheep, including grasses, hay, clover, and other suitable plants. The combination of multiple grass species helps sequester carbon in the soil and fix nitrogen from the atmosphere.

Cultivating multiple plant species helps maintain favorable conditions for soil microorganisms. Grasses thrive in areas where crops intended for human consumption may not succeed, and by grazing, these areas can be utilized. The manure produced on the farms is used as fertilizer, returning nutrients to the soil.

Did you know:

  • In Finland, sheep are only medicated under the prescription of a veterinarian and never as a preventive measure.
  • The use of growth hormones, tail docking, and mulesing is prohibited in Finland.
  • Pasture vegetation is only modified every 4-5 years. This reduces the carbon dioxide emissions generated from cultivation.

Nearly half of our members are organic farms

Organic production plays a significant role in sheep farming. Organic farming requires an extended grazing season and daily access to pasture for the animals. Medication for animals is more strictly regulated in organic farming, and withdrawal periods for medications are twice as long as in conventional production.

Organic sheep farms must produce organic feed for their animals, with a minimum requirement of 60% self-sufficiency (increasing to 70% from 2024) in feed production. Organic production also imposes requirements on the sheep barn, which must be spacious, protective, well-lit, clean, and safe. Compliance with organic production conditions is verified through annual inspection visits.

The Versatile Sheep

Finnish sheep also provide unique wool. Sheep are sheared twice a year, and high-quality wool is sent for further processing to spinning mills. Finnish wool is used today to make yarn for knitting, but it is also exported as finished products such as blankets and shawls around the world.

Did you know:

  • Self-sufficient sheep farming reduces emissions from feed transport.
  • Sheep farming is diverse, maintaining traditional landscapes and producing meat, wool, and milk.
  • 40% of our members are engaged in organic production.

Social Responsibility

Suomen Lammasosuuskunta was established to support producers and improve their position in the market. This approach allows us to build strong collaboration among various stakeholders throughout the entire chain.

We strive to take the best possible care of our members, allowing our farmers to focus on their work and caring for the sheep. Together, we are stronger. The cooperative also acts as a voice for sheep farmers when needed.

Suomen Lammasosuuskunta is part of the The Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution Mela’s ‘Välitä Viljelijästä’ (Care About the Farmer) network. The goal of this initiative is to support the work capacity and well-being of agricultural entrepreneurs.

By buying Finnish products, you are contributing to the vitality of the Finnish countryside and ensuring that taxes are paid in Finland.

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