Grano's domestic production is verified by the Key Flag Symbol

Since 2021, all of Grano's services and print products have been covered by the Key Flag Symbol. The Key Flag Symbol serves as an indication that the company’s products are manufactured in Finland and that its services are produced and contribute to employment in Finland. The Key Flag Symbol is also a way for Grano to demonstrate to its customers and other stakeholders that it operates responsibly and transparently and supports the corporate responsibility of its customer companies.

The Key Flag Symbol is a natural part of Grano's operations, as we are a genuinely Finnish company that offers its services at several locations around Finland. All of our products and services are produced domestically, contributing to employment and economic growth in Finland, and domestic production is also an important selection criterion for us. We can display the Key Flag Symbol on our customer products and thus support the corporate responsibility of our customers as well,” says Grano’s Quality and Sustainability Director Tytti Liven.

Importance of domestic production and corporate responsibility at a historically high level

The Key Flag Symbol is very well known in Finland: According to the Association for Finnish Work, nearly all Finns (98%) are familiar with it. In addition, 77% of Finns are of the opinion that the Key Flag Symbol has a positive impact on their purchase decisions, and 41% check for the Key Flag Symbol before purchasing a product or service. The Association for Finnish Work, which grants the Key Flag Symbol, is well aware of the growing demand for corporate responsibility and transparency.

“Consumers have been making choices based on their personal values for a long time, but nowadays more and more companies are also choosing who they partner with based on their values. Choosing a domestic service or product is seen as a form of civic engagement and a value judgement that promotes the competitiveness and well-being of Finland. Companies using the Key Flag Symbol commit to creating jobs in Finland by strengthening both economic and social well-being, taking corporate responsibility into account in production and operations, including in procurement and subcontracting chains, and supporting the skills, well-being and equality of employees,” says Customer Relationship Manager Nina Pohjoiskoski from the Association of Finnish Work.

Consumers today are also perhaps more interested in the country of origin and manufacture of products than ever before. According to a survey of the consumer habits, feelings and brands of Finnish people carried out in 2021 by market research company Taloustutkimus, as many as 94% of respondents want to support Finnish employment by purchasing domestic products and services, 84% consider it important for producers to be able to demonstrate corporate responsibility and 74% say that they are willing to pay more for products manufactured in Finland.

“The results of the survey show that choosing a domestic service or product is seen as a form of civic engagement and a value judgement that promotes the competitiveness and well-being of Finland. If every Finn were to spend an additional EUR 10 per month on Finnish products or services, this would create 10,000 jobs in a year,” Nina Pohjoiskoski summarises. 

The economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine has prompted many people to think about their purchasing behaviour, which is reflected in the rising popularity of domestic production.The current global situation also presents challenges for security of supply. Under these and any other exceptional circumstances, the public sector plays a major role in ensuring the vitality of Finland’s economy. Every EUR 1 million increase in domestic production resulting from public procurements increases tax revenue by over EUR 300,000 and creates 19 new jobs. In 2021, Finland spent approximately EUR 47 billion on public procurements, of which EUR 35 billion was spent by municipalities. When the work required to produce a product or service procured by a municipality is carried out in Finland, it creates demand for companies operating in Finland, jobs in Finland, tax revenue and social stability.

The Key Flag Symbol is an indication of Finnish work or service 

The Key Flag Symbol stands for Finnish work and manufacturing and can be awarded to products manufactured in Finland and services produced by Finnish-owned companies. In other words, services that have been awarded the Key Flag Symbol are produced by Finnish companies, contribute to employment in Finland and generate tax revenue for Finland. The symbol has been awarded to services since 1995 and to products since 1965. The Key Flag Symbol is awarded by the Association for Finnish Work, a 110-year-old, politically independent non-profit organisation engaged in efforts to increase appreciation for Finnish labour and to ensure that Finnish work prospers and succeeds.

To be eligible for the Key Flag Symbol, a product or product group must meet two important criteria: it must be manufactured in Finland and the domestic content of the product must be at least 50 per cent of the break-even cost of the product, taking into account raw materials, supplies, partly or semi-finished goods, packing materials and supplies and variable and fixed employee costs, among other things.

For services, the requirements are that the service is produced in Finland, the minimum domestic content of the service is 50 per cent of the break-even cost, the applicant organisation has significant domestic ownership and its management is located in Finland and the applicant organisation’s head office is located in Finland. In addition to this, whether the service concept is of Finnish origin is also taken into consideration.

Nina Pohjoiskoski, Förbundet för Finländskt Arbete

Photos: Meeri Utti Text: Riikka Niemi and Tanja Kakko

The article was originally published on 6.10.2023 and has been updated on 6.02.2024.