The Nordic Council of Ministers for Fisheries, Aquaculture, Agriculture, Food and Forestry (MR-FJLS)

The Nordic Council of Ministers for Fisheries, Aquaculture, Agriculture, Food and Forestry (MR-FJLS) is a single council of ministers covering four policy areas – fisheries and aquaculture, agriculture, food, and forestry – and overseeing co-operation between 20 ministries in the Region.

MR-FJLS’s core activities consist of promoting the sustainable use of natural and genetic resources that are essential to human existence.

MR-FJLS seeks to boost faith in and increase access to good food, promote healthy eating, improve the health of the people of the Region and develop the potential inherent in Nordic raw materials and food culture. Promoting research and development is an important element of this work.

MR-FJLS prioritises close working relationships between the five departments of the Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for Fisheries, Aquaculture, Agriculture, Food and Forestry and with all of the other parts of the Nordic Council of Ministers.


The MR-FJLS is serviced by a committee of senior officials (EK-FJLS Executive), which has five independent sub-units that all work together, i.e. an executive committee and four departments for fisheries and aquaculture, food, agriculture and forestry. The executive committee and the four departments all have the same status, i.e. that of committees of senior officials.

MR-FJLS funds a series of institutions, working groups and co-operation bodies that pursue the political objectives set for their respective policy areas.

Read about the committees of senior officials for MR-FJLS:

The fisheries sector

The fisheries sector focuses on sustainability. The work on biological sustainability includes transforming the principle of an ecosystem approach to the fisheries industry into a practical reality, promoting new technology in the sector and promoting fish from a healthy marine environment as a healthy foodstuff.

The work on economic sustainability includes focusing on framework conditions that will enhance the ability of the industry to generate value.

The work on social sustainability includes promoting framework conditions that will guarantee the welfare of fishing and coastal communities and develop their potential.

The agriculture sector

The agriculture sector focuses on conserving genetic resources and the sustainable use of bioenergy, elements that are crucial to maintaining a flexible agriculture sector and coping with climate change.

Other priorities include work on rural and business development.

Promoting the quality and potential of Nordic food is also a core activity and is done in close collaboration with the fisheries and food sectors.

The food sector

The work of the food sector revolves around the citizen as a consumer and focuses on four areas: prevention of health risks via adequate food safety, better animal health and welfare, promoting proper labelling, marketing and traceability of foodstuffs and encouraging healthy food and lifestyles.

The forestry sector

The core activities are business development, forestry and bioenergy. The focus is on the local and regional importance of the forest and on economic, ecological, social and cultural values.

Bioenergy and the climate are also increasingly important. In general, sustainable forestry is promoted by research, development and training, especially through research co-operation in the Nordic Forest Research Co-operation Committee (SNS) as well as by network-building and the exchange of experiences and information.

Objectives and visions

The co-operation programme describes the two main priorities for fisheries and aquaculture, agriculture, food and forestry in the period 2017–2020, i.e. the development of the Nordic bio-economy and sustainable food systems. The programme further develops and enhances co-operation on fisheries and aquaculture, agriculture, food and forestry. Nordic co-operation will also help address many of the key global challenges identified by the nations of the world as priorities in Agenda 2030 and the global sustainable development goals; from climate change to antibiotic resistance to the growing problem of lifestyle diseases.

Read about the MR-FJLS co-operation programme: