Finnish project aims to turn village shops into local service hubs

Thriving village shops are vital to the well-being of many rural communities and provide a way to bring more products and services to Finland's ageing population.

Many of the shops that have survived in the rural areas are already much more than a place to get the groceries. Their product ranges also include hardware and agricultural products, as well as postal, tourism and restaurant services. Many shops are also committed to providing an outlet for locally produced food. They play a major role in helping other services to remain in an area.

Finnish companies like Itella and Yliopiston Apteekki have already expressed interest in participating in the FGTA's project. The FGTA's member companies' and associations' share of the Finnish retail market for groceries is approximately 95%.

Sources: Maaseudun Tulevaisuus, Finnish Grocery Trade Association