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Lasse Aho: From a campaign towards a permanent and sustainable change in attitudes

Lasse Aho, Olvi Oyj | 06.05.2015

A well-known Finnish statesman once said: ”Acknowledging facts is the basis of all wisdom”. We have gradually and almost unnoticed drifted into the situation where, year by year, the proportion of products manufactured in Finland has decreased and they play a smaller role in consumers’ purchasing behaviour, including their daily purchasing decisions. An acknowledged fact is that the change has a clear and direct correlation to Finnish companies’ ability to employ and compete.

There is a general awareness of how serious the situation and development are. A fine proof of this is the Blue and White Footprint campaign, created as a result of cooperation between Kesko and the Association for Finnish Work. It is not only a terrific and concrete way of highlighting quality products manufactured in Finland, but also a determined, brave and far-reaching approach with a message in favour of Finnish origins. When successful, the campaign will have social significance.

Attitudes change slowly. These times provide excellent circumstances for a change which will bear fruit in the far future. In the future, where an increasing number of consumers, more and more families, young and old, see it as a matter of honour to primarily choose products made in Finland. They decide on a Finnish product whenever possible.

Now it is high time – ”the eleventh hour” – to raise the role of products made in Finland to the level they deserve. The target is to address and challenge Finnish consumers to choose a domestic product when making a purchasing decision.

The Blue and White Footprint campaign presents a challenge for all of the parties. Its implementation requires patience and persistence, brave communications and practical work.

The best merchandise must be selected for the campaign, as the quality will best take the message forward. Consumers are educated and critical, but also increasingly aware of the importance of Finnish origins. In order to counterbalance global and European influence, we need a stronger domestic manufacturing industry, stronger Finnish brands and more Finnish ownership. 

It is great that the best Finnish brands and companies participate in the campaign on a wide scale, covering many categories and sectors. We share the same concern and the same targets – building an increasingly blue and white Finnish society, maintaining and improving our national competitiveness and being able to employ higher numbers of Finnish people in Finland. This work must not be left unfinished.

I want to thank all of the companies and communities that participate in the Blue and White Footprint campaign and project. This issue is important! The campaign promoting Finnish work is not insignificant but of primary importance. All of us have a major role to play in it and much opportunity to make an impact. I believe strongly that today’s consumers and particularly future consumers will reward this important work in the form of higher purchases and thus a higher level of well-being.

Lasse Aho
Managing Director
Olvi plc

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