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Datenbank der Projekte zur ländlichen Entwicklung

Survey of small-dairy sector to enhance development programmes


The Small Dairies Development Programme is a national project funded from the RDP for Finland. It involved a survey of the small-dairy sector which was used to create a tailored development programme for the sector.


The project involved a survey of the state of the small-dairy sector. The results are used to form the basis for a national development programme. The survey was carried out in co-operation with two research institutions and the Association of Farmhouse Cheese Makers in Finland.


Designed for the small-dairy sector, the development programme aimed at safeguarding the continuity of small dairy operations by increasing collaboration among enterprises and by preparing their staff for the requirements of a new Finnish food act.

Main activities

The project included telephone interviews, postal surveys, and visits to enterprises. The questionnaire was sent to 59 enterprises. Eleven enterprises responded by post, and representatives of 17 enterprises were interviewed over the telephone. Ten visits to enterprises were made. Representatives of relevant training and development organisations were also interviewed. A final report was drafted.

Results & Benefits

The survey revealed the need for enhanced communication. The entrepreneurs indicated that they were not satisfied with the current supply of training and development measures and that there is a need for individual consultations, given their limited time resources. Many dairy entrepreneurs considered the retail position of small milk-processing enterprises to be good as demand is growing.

Lessons learnt

The positive results in terms of participation and the interest in the final results stimulated the implementation of further research projects to better understand the dairy sector. The work undertaken by this project was continued by the Association of Farmhouse Cheese Makers, which in 2011 joined the European Network of Farmhouse Cheese Makers, thus allowing Finnish entrepreneurs to exchange knowledge with cheese makers in other EU countries.

Project location and other information


RDP Territory


Total project cost (€)

50 639

EAFRD contribution (€)

22 788

National contribution (€)

27 852

Contact name

Erkki Vasara

Languages for contact

English, Finnish, Swedish

At a glance



Final beneficiary type

Individual farmers, Producer groups

Budget range

€20 000 - €99 999

Start date:


End Date:


Theme / Measure:

• Rural Quality of Life & Economic Diversification
• Rural economic diversification
• 312. Support for business creation and development


Food quality , Cooperation, Dairy sector, Development planning

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