Marja Komppa and Ari Seppälä bought a farm from Korpilahti in 1990 and decided to produce food for their own needs. Soon after that they started selling direct to customers and ever since the Komppa-Seppälä organic farm has cultivated and produced food both for themselves and for customer’s needs.
– At first our farm was a multipurpose farm: we kept bees and animals, we grew crop and mushrooms. For the first decade we sold food directly to customers. But in the early 2000’s we decided to specialize in beekeeping and founded our first brand, Voi hyvin honey (now Mielihyvin honey), Komppa summarizes the farms history.
About ten years later Komppa-Seppälä organic farm created their second brand, Järki Särki -canned fish. At first canned fish was made only for the farmers own use but since 2015 after building proper processing facilities for the fish customers have been able to buy Järki Särki from local grocery stores. In 2022 Järki Särki was named the most responsible product of the year.
Nowadays Komppa and Seppälä are both farmers and entrepreneurs. Running the farm and the businesses can be a lot but all the interesting and versatile task that are part of their everyday life keep Komppa and Seppälä keen on their job.
– One day can contain everything from fixing the machines to doing marketing and paperwork. Luckily, the roach that is used for the canned fish is in season in the winter while beekeeping is mainly done during summer months.
Organic all the way
The Komppa-Seppälä farm has operated as an organic farm since the beginning and sustainability is one of the farm owners’ principles. The pollinating bees are good for the surrounding nature and roach fishing decreases eutrophication and levels of phosphorus in the waters. Komppa wonders if they would have started their farm and businesses, had their lines of production not been truly beneficial for the environment.
– When both the business and the food production are based on an interest towards the well-being of environment, there is no need to come up with stories emphasizing the sustainability and quality of your product, Komppa states.
When both the business and the food production are based on an interest towards the well-being of environment, there is no need to come up with stories emphasizing the sustainability and quality of your product.
Komppa ja Seppälä believe that customers interest towards organic ja sustainable food has grown during past years. They find the most important aspect for Finns is though domesticity.
The farm and the businesses are always improving
Komppa and Seppälä are still cultivating several vegetables and improving the opportunities their farm provides for them. At the moment they are planning on growing the garlic used in Järki Särki -canned fish on their own farm. Komppa tells that their goal is to get the best possible use out of the farm for their food products.
How about the settings Central Finland offers for gastronomic tourism in the eyes of a farmer and an entrepreneur? According to Komppa and Seppälä, Central Finnish food culture is constantly developing and bringing up new flavors and entrepreneurs. The region is full of producers and small business owners which makes the selection of foods varied in Central Finland.
– REKO- and other similar activities attract people and when interest towards small businesses grows, we are going to the right direction. We hope that small business owners get even more visibility in the future!
When interest towards small businesses grows, we are going to the right direction. We hope that small business owners get even more visibility in the future!