Crop: Secale cereale L. (Rye)

The landrace called ‘Joppe’ is cultivated as winter rye in one farm located in South Finland (Päijät-Häme region) in the municipal Orimattila.

‘Joppe’ has small seeds and long strain which can grow even 2 m long. It is sowed around 20th day in August and harvested next year in early August or sometimes even in late July. It is yearly cultivated in one to two hectares’ area. (Joppe farmer interview 2018).

Cultivation System: conventional conditions.

Geographical Information

Country: Finland

The landrace is cultivated in one farm located in South Finland (Päijät-Häme region) in the municipal Orimattila. In 2018 it was cultivated in two hectares area. Some hobby farmers may cultivate it (no statistics available).

Farmer(s) description:

The farmer’s farther had had landrace rye seeds from a manor about one hundred years ago and it has been cultivated in the same farm since then. Some decades ago it was considered to replace it with a modern variety. It was decided to continue because of appreciation of it within family. It gives a strong ‘real’ taste for rye bread.

Propagation system: Seed, cross-pollination

Multiplication procedures and consequences on landrace diversity:

Because rye is a cross-pollinating plant, different varieties need to be cultivated far enough from each other, at least a safety zone of 0.5 km and preferably one kilometre is needed.  The farmer does not cultivate other rye varieties than ‘Joppe’ (Joppe farmer interview 2018).

Management plan existence:

As a registered conservation variety with a special maintenance subsidy paid, used farming methods must ensure that it is not mixed to other varieties and there will not be any undesirable cross-pollination. The maintainer needs also to keep a record book on cultivation and storing. Maintenance is controlled by Finnish Food Authorities by field inspection and post-control testing once in five years. (Finnish Food Authorities 2019b).

Added Values

Market - existing and novel:

Main yield is used for seed and home consumption, small amount of grain is sold for consumers who bake traditional rye bread. A few farmers have cultivated it some years but have quitted because of low yields. Forays with a local bakery have dwindled to low profitability. (Joppe farmer interview 2018).

Others (e.g. commercial/geographical brands or special traits):

‘Joppe’ is registered in Finland as a conservation variety in the European Common Catalogue of Conservation Varieties (EU Plant variety database 2019; Finnish Plant Variety Journal 2019). The modified DUS-test is done during the registration process.

As registered a conservation variety, the farmer can apply for subsidies for the maintenance. It is paid by the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry under environmental subsidies. In order to get the subsidy, the maintainer need to grow a registered conservation variety during the five year period to keep seed alive and have it stored for two years use. Farmer can decide to grow it yearly or less. (Finnish Food Authority 2019b).

The genetic diversity and secondary metabolites of ‘Joppe’ comparing it to other rye landraces in situ will be analysed in the ongoing Finnish rye sourdough project (Luke project 2018-2020).

Without the subsidy for maintenance work the farmer would quit cultivating. He would prefer subsidies paid for cultivation area, not the yearly lump sum, to encourage for cultivation for markets not for own use. Marketing support is needed because for a single farmer grain and seed marketing is too time-consuming and requires special skills.  Moreover, landrace based processed products, e.g. bread, flours, are more desirable for consumers than grains. Main challenge is that consumers do not find products; specialised marketplaces both shops and e-shops are needed.  Need for peer support was also identified: Because no other landrace farmers in the region he wishes to have discussions with like-minded farmers and consumers.  (Joppe farmer interview 2018).

The farmer has registered his landrace to conservation variety to get it recognised among other rye varieties. Lack of special markets has limited cultivation area to maintenance purposes. (Joppe farmer interview 2018)

This landrace is registered in Finland as a conservation variety in the European Common Catalogue of Conservation Varieties.

Exceptionally in 2012 small amount of ‘Joppe’ seed (10-20 kilos) was transmissioned by Maatiainen ry (Det lantliga kulturarvet in Swedish; The Finnish Landrace Association in English,) which is a non-governmental association for conserving traditional varieties of plants and animals and rural landscapes in Finland.

Case study provided by Natural Resource Institute (LUKE), Finland. Most of information were provided by Maarit Heinonen.