Humble at heart despite impressive and award-winning expansion. Evolution over three decades of commitment, leading the company from a small corner at the back of the garage to becoming a substantially sized successful employer and a spearhead within food industry. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is Bioferme in a nutshell.
Let’s now travel back to 1977. Young Mrs. Merja Scharlin, with her fresh degree in Agriculture and Forestry in the pocket and a shedload of enthusiasm in the heart, felt the urge to step into food business, creating something uniquely her own. Indeed, humble was the beginning, and small was the start: pressing juice from fresh fruit and vegetables at the back of her garage.
Still, something new had been born, which was soon to be recognized not only by the locals. Apples and fruit brought in for pressing soon filled every space available, and work was performed literally from dusk till dawn. Merja’s pressing plant became synonymous with quality production of quality natural juices.
However, the days were still young for natural food. Households and consumers had not really opened their eyes for natural juices yet. But still, with a mind set on science and innovation, Merja never lost belief in what was to become the means for the evolution of Bioferme: food of domestic and natural origin, no added ingredients and fully vegetable content.
The strong belief, accompanied by a great measure of persistence, commitment and hard work acted together, and soon enough also consumer demand for natural food was showing signs of a trend rising.
The company soon outgrew its premises. In the early eighties a completely new and bigger unit had to be constructed. Concurrently, also the company process of evolution went on. Focus moved from pressed fresh juices towards fermentation as a means of producing food, like sauerkraut.
Experiences gathered from fermentation of vegetables led Merja’s company through its next step: the developing of a brand new product of their own, the probiotic oat-based Yosa.
Yosa was a pioneer, being the world premiere for a product made by fermentation of oat, utilising selected probiotic lactic acid and bifido bacteria. The birth of Yosa in 1995 also became the launch of a strong and productive collaboration with certain universities.
With a strong focus set on fermented products, the original name of the company, Piispanristin Mehuasema (Piispanristi Juice Plant) sounded slightly outdated. Born was Bioferme Oy (Ltd), the same company but with a fresh and new name.
In only a few years, the Yosa sales figures rose beyond even the wildest expectations. Yosa was now the core of Bioferme’s business, enabling and even forcing the company once again to establish a bigger, new and highly modern production unit.
In the early nineties Bioferme eventually decided to terminate the juice plant, development of new products for the Yosa range constantly demanding more time and resources.
The new and highly contemporary Yosa plant was still a competitive, quality food production unit. Growing demand, however cried out for even larger production premises, and at the time being the Bioferme plant has grown to more than 4000 square meters.
Also the Yosa selection has grown. The ecological footprint set by Yosa can already be seen in numerous consumer refrigerators, as well as within many a food organisation. Even recent arrivals like drinkable ecological smoothies have already started to gain glory.
The Yosa Mango-Vanilla-Smoothie was awarded a honourable mention in the Ecological Product of the Year 2009 –award, and the Mango-Vanilla and Raspberry-Redcurrant smoothies won the consumables section at the Star Product of 2009 Award.
Our main objectives and carrying strengths, persistent and long-term Research & Development, as well as our values of ethics, ecology and customer criteria orientation, still remain unaltered. And, as an ultimate proof of quality and commitment, still today every single batch of Yosa is tasted and approved in person by the founder and the heart of the company, Merja Scharlin.