Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Sari Essayah

Christian Democrats in Finland

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

The remit of the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry comprises food policy, food security, food safety and animal welfare, rural policy, commercial and recreational fishery, and hunting and game management. The Minister is also responsible for tasks related to spatial data, including land surveying.


Sari Essayah was born on 21 February 1967 in Haukivuori in South Savo and she grew up in Lapinlahti in North Savo.

She took her matriculation examination at Säkylä general upper secondary school in 1986 and completed her Master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration at the University of Vaasa, where she majored in accounting.

Her sporting career as a race walker stemmed from her childhood hobby of track and field sports. It peaked in 1993 when she won the world championship. Three years after ending her career as an athlete, Essayah joined the Christian Democrats and was elected to the Lapinlahti local council. She had already been a candidate in municipal elections after having completed her matriculation examination and had served in the municipal boards for youth and promotion of temperance. 

Essayah was elected to Parliament in 2003 from the electoral district of Southwest Finland where she had moved with her family. She also chaired the Christian Democrats parliamentary group until 2007. During her years in Parliament, Essayah served as a member in the Grand Committee and Finance Committee. She also served as Christian Democrats’ Party Secretary in 2007–2009. 

In 2009 Essayah was elected to the European Parliament, where she was a member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

In spring 2015, Essayah again entered the Finnish Parliament. In the same year, she was also elected to chair the Christian Democrats.

Besides her duties in politics, Essayah has worked as senior accountant and auditor. She has also been active in various sports associations, including serving as a member of the International Olympic Committee since 2016.

Essayah is married to church social worker Roope Knapp. They have two adult daughters.

Personal details

Member of Parliament
Christian Democrats in Finland
Date and place of birth: 21.2.1967 Haukivuori
Domicile: Lapinlahti

Minister of Agriculture and Forestry 20.6.2023 -

Curriculum vitae and work in Parliament

Further information

Kuvia ministeristä


Ministeriöt eivät vastaa henkilökohtaisten sivustojen sisällöstä eivätkä ylläpidosta.

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