Ensuring safe products

Sustainability is an essential part of Metsä Board's strategy. Product safety is a non-negotiable and important part of any packaging or food- service material and a priority for all Metsä Board operations.

To ensure consistent and high-level product safety, transparent actions and detailed information is required from all parties throughout the supply chain. Metsä Board actively follows the ever-developing regulatory requirements and is responsive to any specific customer demands.

Together with our partners throughout the supply chain, Metsä Board applies its product safety principles to the entire product life cycle. Creating an unbroken chain of safety requires strict compliance with regulations and standards for raw materials, production processes, distribution and end-use applications. Metsä Board guarantees the compliance and safety of the material as delivered by Metsä Board. For further processed material, each individual partner in the supply chain is responsible for ensuring their own application-specific compliance.

Raw materials

Optimal use of both natural fibres and chemical raw materials is crucial to ensure the safety of paperboard.

One of our biggest advantages is that the entire wood raw material value chain from forest to board mill via pulp mill is managed by Metsä Group’s various business units. All the wood fibre we use can be traced back to the forest it came from. All wood raw material comes from controlled, traceable and third party-verified sources located in sustainably managed Northern European forests. The use of fresh fibres from these controlled sources and the unique chain from forest to product guarantees that no unknown chemicals end up in our paperboards.

Only safe and carefully selected chemicals are used in paperboard production, and they are all required to comply with relevant global legislation such as food contact regulations. Health and safety and environmental aspects are also carefully reviewed. The chemicals approved for continuous use in production are also regularly re-evaluated with updated information from suppliers. This way we can maintain a high level of product safety.

Product safety in paperboard production

Choosing the right packaging material for food contact is critical to ensure consumer safety.

As a leading fresh fibre paperboard manufacturer, Metsä Board wants to ensure that its product safety practices are equivalent to the standards that apply in the food industry.

Metsä Board production sites work according to good manufacturing practice (GMP), which is a basic requirement in Europe and described in Commission Regulation (EC) No 2023/2006 on good manufacturing practice for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food. In addition to the basic requirements, all Metsä Board mills have an certified ISO 22000 food safety management system and the mills that produce paperboards for food contact also fulfil FSSC 22000 food safety system requirements.

The FSSC 22000 (Food Safety System Certification) provides a framework for effectively managing an organisation's food safety responsibilities. FSSC 22000 is fully recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and is based on existing ISO standards. It demonstrates that a company has a robust food safety management system in place that meets the requirements of both direct customers and consumers. The GFSI brings together key players from the food industry and related industries to collaboratively drive continuous improvement in food safety management systems around the world.


Metsä Board mills have evaluated their food safety hazards with a HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control point) tool that is widely used in the food industry. To prevent the risks caused by recognised hazards, Metsä Board mills have defined preventive programmes that cover the entire production chain. These programmes cover raw materials, and include for example hygiene areas and rules, microbe control, pest control and controlled maintenance. In addition to our own operations, an appropriate level of hygiene is also required from Metsä Board’s suppliers and subcontractors to ensure that paperboards are protected against contamination at every stage of the supply chain.


Our global team of experts continuously addresses the evolving regulations and emerging product safety concerns to ensure that our paperboards are safe for sensitive end uses like direct food contact.

Packaging materials intended to be in direct contact with food are subject to several global and local regulations and recommendations. Metsä Board ensures food safety through strict compliance with the regulatory requirements that are applicable in relevant market areas, for example Europe, the US and Asia.

To ensure quality and safety, the chemical properties and microbiological purity of Metsä Board products are regularly tested. Metsä Board paperboards are also subject to sensorial examination of organoleptic properties (odour, taint). All our products are tested according to the requirements of global legislation in accredited external laboratories. Together with a detailed internal risk assessment, these analyses form the basis of a product safety statement, which is available for every Metsä Board product and includes comprehensive product safety information including a declaration of compliance.

Safe on the shelves, at homes and on the go.

The most important function of packaging is to keep the consumer safe. With our pure and sustainable paperboards, the consumer experiences that "this packaging will not harm me, my family or the environment". The packaged goods will taste and smell like they are meant to, and the paperboard material does not cause any risk for the safety of the food. Metsä Board paperboards are the safest choice of fibre packaging for sensitive end uses like direct food contact.