Minister of Regional Affairs and Agriculture Madis Kallas welcome speech

Greetings to lovers of Estonian food and flavours!

The 30th Tallinn FoodFair brings together our food producers, caterers, merchants and a multitude of industry partners, all of whom contribute to the development of Estonian food and culinary culture through their daily efforts.

In September, we celebrate Estonian Food Month. During this time, we pay special attention to food production and culinary culture and express our gratitude for the devoted individuals who work tirelessly to ensure that we have food on our tables. Estonia stands out for its naturally pure and fresh food. Our lush forests and fertile fields provide us the opportunity to savour a wide array of flavours. While the sea, lakes, rivers, and bogs offer a bounty of riches that have become integral to our diet.

However, Estonian food culture offers much more than physical sustenance; it is also a reflection of our history, traditions and national pride. Local delicacies such as blood sausages, Mulgi puder and open sprat sandwiches tell the story of our people and are handed down from one generation to the next as a part of our cultural heritage.

We find ourselves in difficult times, marked by war in Europe, a changing climate and a significant increase in the cost of living. All these factors have an impact on our farmers and food producers. Various crises have left a mark on both the price and availability of food. It is crucial for us to preserve food production in Estonia, and for this, we must all make an effort together.

As time progresses, the importance of food conservation becomes ever clearer. Each year, the average Estonian discards 26 kilograms of perfectly edible food. This wastefulness not only squanders food and financial resources but also the labour and resources invested in food production, including water, electricity, fuel and the fertility of the soil of agricultural land, among others. We should strive to become more sustainable and conscientious consumers to safeguard both our environment and our finances.

I extend my gratitude to all those who have contributed to the preservation of our food culture and played a role in organising the Tallinn FoodFair for the past three decades. To all participants in the fair, I wish you success in making new and rewarding connections! Let us remain open to new tastes and experiences, and always bear in mind that food is more than just sustenance for the stomach – it’s a narrative that binds us all together.

Minister of Regional Affairs and Agriculture
Madis Kallas