Military For Members

Swedish inquiry recommends storing food to strengthen resilience for war

TT/The Local
TT/The Local - [email protected]
Swedish inquiry recommends storing food to strengthen resilience for war
Swedes may have to get used to eating less food in the event of war or crisis, an inquiry warns. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

A new inquiry recommends that Sweden rebuild its food stores to better prepare the country in the face of a war or crisis.


“This is ultimately about the survival of the population,” said Ingrid Petersson, who led the inquiry.

Back in 2022, Sweden’s previous government tasked an inquiry with proposing a plan for Sweden’s food preparedness in the case of a crisis, including the role of Swedish businesses in preparing the country.

The conclusions of this inquiry, which were presented to Sweden’s minister of rural affairs, Peter Kullgren, on Thursday, recommend rebuilding Sweden’s food stores so that essential foods like bread, pasta and oatmeal could be produced at short notice.

“Sweden needs to strengthen its resilience, and that applies in the case of a high alert or ultimately a war,” Kullgren said.

Petersson warned that people in Sweden should be prepared to eat less food, and food which is less nutritious, if a war or crisis were to hit the country, highlighting a book of 123 wartime recipes from Finland using simple ingredients.

“We need to be prepared for a change in our diets,” she told a press conference. “It would perhaps focus heavily on grains: porridge, pasta, bread, but also to some extent meat, vegetables and other things.”


She underlined the importance of having a functioning supply chain, but also the importance of individuals making their own preparations.

“We need access to food which will last at least a week.”


During the Second World War, Sweden built up stores of items like wheat, sugar, coffee, dry yeast and shelf-stable meat products, as well as animal feed and fertiliser, so that society and, perhaps more importantly, the agricultural industry, could continue to function if war spread to Sweden.

There were also stores of medical materials, like beds, medicine and single-use items like plastic gloves and scalpels, as well as fuel.

These were all emptied following a number of political decisions made at the beginning of the millennium.


Now, however, the security situation has changed, and Petersson’s inquiry reflects that, recommending that the country once more should start storing supplies like fertiliser, pesticides and seeds. 

The inquiry predicts that it could take up to five years to store enough food and other supplies to support the country for three months, based on calculations from the war in Ukraine and from Finland.

“It’s time to stop talking and start acting. Maybe it won’t be completely right, but in that case we’ll have to correct things after the fact.”


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also