Agriculture is at the core of Estonian tradition. Compared to other countries of the same latitude, Estonia’s flora and fauna are one of the world’s richest in terms of species. There are nearly 5,000 plant species and 3,500 species of mushrooms and fungi, 11,000 species of invertebrates, and 500 species of vertebrates.
Estonia’s biodiversity is a reflection of the large percentage of natural landscapes, the survival of traditional land usage, and the preservation of semi-natural communities. In addition, the Estonian population has a strong appreciation of the country’s farming traditions, and a strong domestic market.
Estonian consumers buy a lot of domestic products for three main reasons: price, traditional tastes, and naturally cleaner raw materials. Since 1994, in order to assess the position of domestic products in the domestic market and consumer preferences depending on product origin, the Estonian Institute of Economic Research has conducted surveys and performed research studies for the Ministry of Agriculture. Results indicated that the assortment of domestic goods available to consumers has continually grown.
The Estonian food industry promotes domestic raw material, which is why the Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce developed the mark “Approved Estonian Taste” in 2000. The mark of origin at that time was given to the products of 100% Estonian origin, though starting from 2004 is available for the all applicant despite the country of origin.