New champions at the World Championship of Berry Picking

The World Championship of Berry Picking was organized for the 23rd time in Suomussalmi, 16th September 2023, after a three-year hiatus.


The participants picked lingonberries for one hour by hand, using a hand rake or long-handed rake. There were both team and personal series for adults; children and youth competed in their own team series.

This year the lingonberry crop was quite poor in the race area and, therefore, the total amount of harvested berries was only 87,38 kg. In the peak year of 2007, the amount of lingonberries picked in one hour was even 938 kg while in a poor crop year 2018 the total amount was only 40,7 kg. Thus, the result varies greatly depending on the annual berry crop level.

According to the results, the best team in the children's team series was Kuhmon Trio from Kuhmo and, in the youth team series, it was Kaenuun Poijat from Kuhmo. Team Nopsajalat from Rokua picked the highest amount of berries by hand. Team Lumi-Saunat, with participants from both Finland (Liminka) and Ukraine, was the most efficient in picking berries with hand rake.

In personal series, berries were picked using long-handed rake and there were different series for women and men. Leena Kemppainen from Sotkamo won the women’s series and Jorma Kinnunen from Suomussalmi the men’s series.

Other podiums, including the quantities picked, can be found at the end of the press release.

Versatile program at the marketplace

At the race square of Ämmansaari, the public was able to participate in the World Championship atmosphere. There were several experts of Arctic Flavours Association who presented natural product’s sector. Anu Tossavainen told about training opportunities in the natural product’s sector. Marjut Turtiainen presented international FEROX project, which aims to support the work of wild berry pickers by developing new technologies. Päivi Avela and Sari Moilanen organized mushroom exhibition which attracted great interest among the public.

The group Tonttuorkesteri Mikä lie, country and rock band The Heater, magician Roope Ylitalo, dance group Loimu and the young violinist Vihtori Heikkinen from Kainuu Music Institute entertained the public. The artist Marita Taavitsainen performed before announcing the results. In a manner of many previous years, the day was hosted by Hepokankaan Höppänä.

At the end of the day, trophies and honors were awarded to the winners.

Results of the World Championship of Berry Picking, podiums

Children's team series, hand rake

1. Kuhmon Trio: Jemina Juntunen, Lenni Juntunen, Emma Niiranen, Kuhmo, 1,92 kg

Youth team series, hand rake

1. Kaenuun Poijat: Leo Kelo, Eetu Niiranen, Osku Niiranen, Kuhmo, 4,06 kg

2. ATV-joukkue: Anni Anttonen, Tuomas Kyllönen, Valtteri Väisänen, Piispajärvi, 2,68 kg

Adult team series, hand rake

1. Lumi-Saunat: Raili Säkkinen, Oleksandr Kotolup, Diana Kotolup, Liminka, Finland and Ukraine, 6,98 kg

2. Korvuan Erä ry: Reino Korvuo, Markku Korvuo, Anna-Liisa Heikkinen, Suomussalmi, 5,58 kg

3. Yllytyshullut: Seija Lipsanen, Veijo Moilanen, Markku Kinnunen, Rovaniemi/Suomussalmi, 4,68 kg  

Adult team series, picking by hand

1. Nopsajalat: Arja Ekdahl, Kirsi Kelahaara, Aulis Ekdahl, Rokua, 5,10 kg

2. Suomussalmen Eläkeläiset ry: Impi Kemppainen, Raija Kinnunen, Saara Pöllänen, Suomussalmi, 4,26 kg

3. Team Sirius: Esteri Romppainen, Terttu Kirkelä, Raija Malvalehto, Hyrynsalmi/Suomussalmi, 3,56 kg

Women’s personal series, long-handed rake

1. Leena Kemppainen, Sotkamo, 3,42 kg

2. Arja Juntunen, Suomussalmi, 3,18 kg

3. Eeva Romppainen, Suomussalmi, 3,06 kg

Men’s personal series, long-handed rake

1. Jorma Kinnunen, Suomussalmi, 3,34 kg

2. Jeremias Seppänen, Suomussalmi, 3,26 kg

3. Reijo Tolonen, Suomussalmi, 1,64 kg


Additional information:

Arctic Flavours Association, executive director Birgitta Partanen, phone number: +358 40 580 1186


Photos that can be used in connection with the press release:

Tonttuorkesteri Mikä lie.JPG

Tonttuorkesteri Mikä lie entertained the audience at the race square.



Mushroom exhibition at the race square.


Heimo Kärnä.JPG

Heimo Kärnä used picking equipment that he has made himself from birchbark.


Lastensarjan voittajajoukkue Kuhmon Trio.JPG

The total amount of lingonberries picked by the winner of children's team series, Kuhmon Trio, was 1,92 kg.


Nuorten sarjan voittajajoukkue Kaenuun Poijat.JPG

Kaenuun Poijat, the winner of the youth team series.



This year the buckets were not filled up. At best, the total amount picked has been more than tenfold compared to this year.


Marjut Turtiainen teki FEROX-hankkeessa kyselyä marjastuksen teknologiasta..jpg

Marjut Turtiainen presented international FEROX project and made an inquiry about technological aspects of berry picking.


Kisamaastoon startattu.jpg

The World Championship of Berry Picking has just started. Berry pickers in the race area.



The winner of men’s personal series, Jorma Kinnunen (number 9 on the left).


Kolme sukupolvea.JPG 

Team Polvettaret (Laura Juntunen, Marjatta Minkkinen and Sirpa Juntunen) showed a great example of how the berry picking tradition has been passed from one generation to the next. In the team, there were participants from three generations.


Punnitus alkaa.JPG

Berries were measured after the race.