From nature to the bottle
The unprocessed groundwater from Rajamäki is a core ingredient in Altia’s products. Altia protects the groundwater area through land ownership and by working closely with partners and locals.
Clean water is a key ingredient in Altia’s production. Besides being an ingredient of the alcoholic beverages, water is also used for keeping the facilities clean since hygiene is crucial in the drinks industry.
The water used in Altia’s production is unprocessed pure groundwater from Rajamäki, Finland. It is pumped from seven metres below the ground straight to the plant, where it is mixed with ethanol and added to different products.
“The groundwater in Rajamäki fulfills all the quality requirements without any chemical or mechanical processing. The area has water well above our needs and the water has just the right amount of various minerals without, for example, too much of chloride or iron,” says Milja Karhu, Altia’s Environmental Specialist.
Since the groundwater in Finland is generally of very good quality, it is used widely in the soft drinks industry, but less so in the production of alcoholic beverages. The quality of Altia’s water is examined regularly by an external laboratory. Everywhere else in the world, the quality of groundwater is lower and the water cannot be used in the drinks industry without processing.
Close co-operation with partners and locals
In order to keep the groundwater as clean as possible, Altia owns 1,100 hectares of land in Rajamäki. The land areas owned by Altia, such as forest and fields, are located mostly in the groundwater area.
“By owning land we can determine the operations that take place in the area and therefore avoid any harmful actions. This has been seen as an important way to preserve the groundwater ever since operations were first established at that site in 1888."
Altia’s partners responsible for forestry and fields, as well as the people living nearby, are very helpful when it comes to taking care of the environment. Altia has given instructions to foresters, lumberjacks and farmers on what needs to be taken into account, such as using biodegradable oils in machines as much as possible, for example.
“Whenever the local residents see something different inside Altia’s land area, be it a different colour in the streams or waste in the forest, they inform Altia about it. The history of the factory is very important to the locals and they feel very strongly about preserving the surroundings. The plant has pretty much created Rajamäki.”
A distinctive taste
According to Karhu, those with a finely-tuned sense of taste can notice a difference between processed water and clean groundwater.
The forest in the groundwater area has a distinctive taste, acting as a filter for the rain water. The rain water is absorbed into the ground more slowly than without the forest, which reduces the amount of air pollutants and heavy metals. The difference in the taste and the chemical composition of the water are excellent assets when it comes to revealing fake products.
“The effect of the forest and the lack of chemical treatment give the water a fresh taste and a clear colour. Besides the taste, using clean groundwater is also important for the environment as well as the image of the product since it comes straight from nature.”