A supply catastrophe resulted in the initiation of preparations

The need for security of supply organized by the State became equally important in Finland as in other countries during the First World War.

Finland’s main problem was the food situation. Self-sufficiency in grain was about 60 % at the time. During the World War the Senate (Central Government) endeavoured to establish price limits and prohibitions against sales from one province to the next, but all these measures had little or no effect.

After the Russian revolution the new Senate and Parliament tried to make food rationing more effective. In April 1917 Parliament adopted a new rationing powers act. However, the problem was that no preparations had been made for its implementation and that there were no stocks whatsoever.

At the same time political disturbances increased and grain imports from Russia ceased. The result was a supply catastrophe, which was one of the reasons for civil war in 1918.