The Finnish Bakery Federation was established on 17 March 1900 as an association of Finnish bakery employers that was tasked with the general promotion of the bakery industry, developing training and lobbying for the interests of bakery proprietors. The original name was the Finnish Bakery and Confectionery Practitioners Federation, but this was shortened to its present form for the sake of clarity in 1933.
The first chairman of the Finnish Bakery Federation was Karl Magnus Brondin from Helsinki. Nine other chairmen have served after him. Since the beginning of 2010, the chair has been occupied by Jari Elonen from Jämsä-based Elonen Oy.
The need to establish a nationwide association of bakery proprietors became topical around the turn of the century as a result of proposed bakery employment legislation that began to be debated in 1899. The mooted law would have imposed working time restrictions and banned night work. The first task of the Finnish Bakery Federation was to influence the drafting of the law in a way that would prevent it from imposing an unreasonable burden on industry companies.
The legislation only entered into force in 1909, but the Finnish Bakery Federation's hopes of maximising the freedom of night work and adopting flexible working time arrangements were not realised very well. The new law limited bakeries to just 10 days of night-time work. The bakery industry was also the first sector in Finland to implement a statutory 8-hour workday because the law set the maximum duration of a six-day work week at 48 hours. This important precedent laid the foundation for Finland's general adoption of the 8-hour workday in 1917 as the first country in Europe. Furthermore, bakery proprietors themselves were banned from doing night work in 1928 after Finland ratified an international ILO treaty regarding night work in bakeries.
The local employment agreements of the bakery industry set the bonus to be paid for night work at 100% as far back as 1907. Bakery work legislation was reformed in 1940 so that the 100% bonus pay for night work became a statutory benefit for employees, although the Finnish Bakery Federation had wanted to keep the night work bonus a matter subject solely to local agreement. Finland revoked the ILO bakery work treaty in 1983 and the liberalisation of night work regulations got underway. The night work ban was finally abolished in 1993 and the Bakery Employment Act was repealed in 1996. However, a lone provision regarding 100% additional pay for night work in bakeries remained enshrined in Finnish working hours legislation. The basis for its payment had to be traced back to a law enacted in 1961 – and last amended in 1993 – and repealed by the Eduskunta in 1996. This oddity was mitigated by the fact that the 100% night work bonus was also provided for in the industry's collective bargaining agreements, making it unnecessary to raise the matter.
The book Suomen Leipuriliitto 1900-2010, Katsaus leipomoalan historiaan (Finnish Bakery Federation 1900-2010, A review of the history of the bakery industry) by Aaro Jalas and Veijo Åberg provides a more detailed picture of the history of our Federation and the entire bakery industry in Finland.