In spite of its modest population of 1.3 million and a compact landmass of just over 45,000 km2, Estonia emerges as a formidable player in the global food and beverage industry. Renowned as Europe’s second-largest organic farming nation and boasting the continent’s second cleanest food, Estonia, led by Urmas Kruuse, Minister of Rural Affairs, attributes its success to a commitment to cleanliness.
Kruuse emphasizes the significance of a pristine environment, not only for domestic food production but also for establishing itself as a trusted exporter on the world stage. Estonia’s dairy sector takes center stage in exports, benefitting from abundant grasslands that yield surplus milk beyond local demand. Similarly, the nation’s cereal production enjoys robust exports, propelled by the capacity to cultivate beyond domestic consumption.
Despite its advantageous position, Estonia faces the challenge of securing stable and expansive export markets due to its small and open economy. Actively seeking growth opportunities, Kruuse and his team participate in global events, including EXPO 2020 Dubai and the renowned Gulfood exhibition in the UAE, aiming to forge valuable partnerships.
The UAE stands out as a promising market due to its reputation for quality and diversity in the food and beverage sector. Estonia, proud of its culinary culture, sees common ground with the UAE and envisions a lasting trading relationship. With an embassy in the UAE, Estonia aims to establish enduring contacts, fostering trade relationships.
In addition to its culinary prowess, Estonia leverages technology and sustainability as key elements in its trade outreach. The country emphasizes technological advancements supporting its agriculture sector and the development of e-government capabilities. Kruuse underscores the importance of data in shaping the future of agriculture, emphasizing the role of data mining in enhancing production and organic farming.
Sustainability is a focal point for Estonia, driven by its size, which allows flexibility and agility. The nation prioritizes reducing chemical use, minimizing pesticides, and incorporating agricultural technology to enhance production. Ethical breeding practices and collaboration with partners further position Estonia as an emerging export partner dedicated to a sustainable and environmentally conscious global food market.