Helsinki / FI. (pg) In its thirty years of operation in Estonia, Finland’s Paulig Group has grown to become one of the most internationally significant exporters in Estonia, selling 80 percent of its products to foreign markets. In June this year, Paulig will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its Saue flavour factory, moving into the future with the ambition to be one of the fastest growing and most sustainable food and beverage companies in Europe. «I am delighted to say that Paulig will continue its plan to operate, grow and invest in Estonia, now and in the future. For us, Estonia has been and will continue to be an important strategic growth centre,» says Paulig CEO Rolf Ladau.
Developing local food and coffee culture with partners
In 2000, Paulig’s coffee production moved from Saue to Finland, and the factory moved on to focus on the wider Santa Maria flavouring production. Paulig has been an undisputed trendsetter, trendsetter and educator in coffee, condiments, BBQ and world cuisine in Estonia and the Baltics. «We continue to work closely with our customers and partners on a daily basis to meet growing consumer expectations. We clearly see that the younger generation is increasingly attracted to vegetarian options, quick grab snacks and cold coffee drinks. At the same time, Estonians are also experimenting with spicier foods and other world cuisines in their own homes due to the high interest in travelling,» says Marta Piigli, Out-of-Home Commercial Director, Paulig Baltics.
«Today, it is important for the consumer to have the right choice of goods and to be able to find them easily in shops. We have been able to work closely with our retail customers to create exciting world cuisine categories such as Tex Mex and Asian, as well as a wide range of condiments and locally flavoured coffee categories,» says Rainer Tammet, Commercial Director, Retail, Paulig Baltics.
Since Paulig’s beginnings in 1876, the company has been defined by quality, innovation and sustainability. Paulig has set itself the ambition to be a leader in sustainability in the food and beverage industry, and will apply this ambition to its Saue production facility, which is scheduled to be certified as a carbon neutral factory later this year.
«I am delighted that the Saue plant has been able to grow and expand steadily over three decades. We produce seasonings, blends and marinades in our Santa Maria factory for 30 different countries across Europe, making us one of the most important exporters in Estonia. We manufacture over 600 different products from 250 different raw materials, with an annual production volume of around 50 000 000 pieces. Many of our good employees have been with us since the early years. I believe that it is innovation, continuous development and job stability that have kept many people at Paulig motivated to continue,» says Mati Kirspuu, manager of the Saue plant.
The early 90s as a risky venture
On 1 June 1993, Paulig opened its coffee and spices factory in Saue, one of the first major foreign investments in the Estonian economy. Paulig already had a warehouse and sales office in Rataskaevu Street in Tallinn in the early 1940s, which was closed in 1943 due to the war. The first café to serve Paulig coffee was the most prestigious café in the Baltic States, Kultas in Tallinn’s Vabaduse Square in 1937.
Paulig’s desire to return to Estonia in the early 1990s was not only to expand the company, but also to build relationships with local businesses, organisations, non-profit associations and promoters of food and coffee culture. Paulig is one of the founding members of the Estonian Food Union, has been a major sponsor of the Estonian Song Festival, has supported the Olympic movement, and has worked closely with the local community, the municipality of Saue, the Association of Estonian Chefs, SOS Children’s Villages, Toidupank and many others.