Arctic Warriors - responsible products from Lapland

While sustainability is currently a trendy word in the business world, it's also serious work and a reality in many companies - including Arctic Warriors.
Arctic Warriors - responsible products from Lapland

- From the very beginning, Lapland raw materials have been the thing we never compromise on," says Katja Misikangas, Product Manager at Arctic Warriors.

The company could buy cheaper raw materials from Poland or Bulgaria if it wanted to, but for Arctic Warriors it's an important value to keep Lapland alive and to employ small farmers and wild herb gatherers in Lapland. When the harvesting network is in their own hands, it's easy to maintain the knowledge that what they are doing is also ethically correct.

- Although we swear by the name of Finnish, not everything comes from Lapland or even from Finland, but we also have reliable foreign partners. For example, jars and bottles are ordered from the Netherlands and herbal potions are made in Estonia. We tell people about this on our website, because for us, responsibility means above all transparency," Misikangas explains.

For several years now, Arctic Warriors has been employing gatherers from Myanmar who live in Finland and have Finnish citizenship.

- Working with them has been uncomplicated and they are very efficient in their work. As Finnish citizens, they don't need entry visas and the wonderful spruce sprouts can be picked within driving distance of their homes," says the Arctic Warriors' manager.

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How are berry pickers doing? 

For several years now, Arctic Warriors has been offering Musti Blueberry Powder and Puolu Lingoberry Powder, which include berries and their juices.

- Most of the berry powders on the market are made from leftover pulp from juicing. In this case, however, a very large amount of valuable substances and flavours have been removed from the juice. There is still a lot of goodness left in the peel, but the flavours of berry powders are as different as night and day. If you fail to disclose an essential part of the production method, for example that the berry powder is a by-product of the juicing process, is that a responsible practice?" asks Misikangas.

The wages, working conditions and abuses of berry pickers have often been in the public eye - and with good reason. When it comes to Arctic Warriors' gathering products, everything is in order - so you can munch merrily in good spirits.

In 2020, a whopping 12.4 million kilos of blueberries and lingonberries alone were harvested from our forests. There are many players in the berry business sector, and most of them are doing their job properly. However, companies that do not act responsibly have made it into the market, and these have also hit the headlines in recent years.

- Arctic Warriors has chosen to work with a partner that has a particular focus on responsible operations. They have, among other things, ISO 26000, which is carried out annually by an independent third party as a sustainability audit. These audits assess the entire operation, from berry picking and supply chains to berry handling, occupational safety and environmental issues. They are also strongly committed to the annual agreements, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy on the practices of foreign berry pickers," says Katja Misikangas.

- When you are not picking under your own eyes, it's really important to be able to trust your partner. Responsibility certificates help to establish a trustworthy relationship and this at least allows me as an entrepreneur to sleep at night with peace of mind," says Misikangas.