In the many years of developing the production technology of birch sap, Susanna and Arto Maaranen have gathered a great deal of information on birch, birch sap, and how to collect it, and they have received a lot of feedback on the believed health benefits of birch sap. Based on these experiences they have written a book called "Birch sap - a toast to nature and health" ("Koivunmahla - malja luonnolle ja terveydelle"), published in April 2003.
The National Food Agency Finland admitted our company on 27 January 2003 into the inspection system for the producers of organic foodstuff.
Finfood LUOMU licensed our company to use the brand mark for organic products on 21 January 2003.
The objective of organic production is to help maintain nature's cleanliness and vitality, and to ensure that foodstuff is produced as naturally as possible, utilising nature's own methods. Organic products are safe. The principles of organic production are put into practice so that the production of organic foodstuff is governed by rules, which all the organic producers are committed to, and the following of which is monitored.
Our birch sap is certified organic and completely free of additives and preservatives.
Aurinkolehto Ltd. was honoured with the national InnoFinland award by the President of Finland in Helsinki on Tuesday, 19 November 2002. The company was honoured with the award due to the innovation, which has enabled large-scale production and long-term preservation of birch sap; as a result of several years of research the entrepreneur couple Arto and Susanna Maaranen succeeded in solving the preservation problems of sap with their unique high technology application.
INNOFINLAND was founded in 1994 and the President of Finland acts as its patron. The national INNOFINLAND awards are granted yearly to recognise and encourage laudable and innovative entrepreneurship.
The background organisations of INNOFINLAND include a number of influential parties from industry and commerce: Ministry of Trade and Industry, Foundation of Finnish Inventions, Central Chamber of Commerce, National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland, Sitra (the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development), Jobs and Society in Finland, Federation of Finnish Enterprises, Tekes (the National Technology Agency of Finland) and the Confederation of Finnish Industry and Employers.
Further information: www.innosuomi.fi
In November 2002, the entrepreneur couple Susanna and Arto Maaranen of Aurinkolehto Ltd. were chosen as the Outstanding Young Farmers of the Year on a national level.
The Outstanding Young Farmer (TOYF) is a project of Junior Chamber International Finland, which has been carried out as the national Outstanding Young Farmer award programme since 1997. The purpose of the programme is to find and award farmers under the age of forty (40), who have helped create faith in the future of agriculture and the countryside by setting an example. The criteria for determining the winner include three fields: human being, company and environment. Those honoured with the award must be model entrepreneurs, who are appreciated as people, who have succeeded in business, and who have a positive impact on their environment.
The national partners of TOYF are: Junior Chamber International Finland, MAEK (organisation under Jobs and Society supporting farmer entrepreneurship), Jobs and Society, Valtra Ltd., Vapo Ltd. Finnvera Plc, OP Bank Group, Tapiola, Pro Agria.
Further information: www.jcfin.fi/uc/index.php?386
In October 2002 the entrepreneur couple Susanna and Arto Maaranen of Aurinkolehto Ltd. won the regional contest for Outstanding Young Farmers. After the regional level Susanna and Arto Maaranen continued to compete on the national level and were chosen as the Outstanding Young Farmers of the Year in November.
Since it began producing sap, Aurinkolehto has had the right to use the Swan Flag label "Joutsenlippu" given out by Finfood as an indicator of theauthenticity of the product. To indicate the origins of food products, the Swan Flag mark can be printed onto the packaging or the label of a product which has been made in Finland and the raw material is at least 3/4 Finnish. In Aurinkolehto's case, the raw material for the birch sap is 100% Finnish and the product has been manufactured in Finland.
The right to use the Swan Flag label is product-specific. The manufacturer can use the label only with products that qualify for its use. The brand mark can be used only by members of Finfood - Finnish Food Information Service.
The use of the brand mark is continuously monitored in the context of reclamations and by doing spot checks.