In Vallila since 1935 

Meira’s spice factory and roastery have been in their current location on Aleksis Kivi Street since 1935. So, we are a familiar neighbor in the Vallila area, and part of Helsinki’s fragrant landscape. However, our location in the middle of a rapidly developing city requires us to take special care, e.g. in terms of our environmental impact. We are therefore certified in accordance with the ISO14001 environmental standard and operate within the framework of the City of Helsinki ‘s environmental permit.

We cannot talk about 2021 without remembering the fire in our roastery which occurred in December. The fire was a shocking and sad event for us, and it also unfortunately caused significant smoke and odor nuisance to the environment, which we are deeply sorry for. The reconstruction of the roastery started as soon as the Helsinki Rescue Department handed over control of the property. Our team immediately set out to map out the damage, and then plan the start-up of the operation. The spice factory was ready for production in a few days, and the packaging of the coffee was started in January. During the spring of 2022, the damaged roof will be re-built and the coffee machinery fixed, and the roastery will most likely be back in full operation before summer. The crisis has shown that we have great personnel, which,in times of a crisis, together seeks solutions to even the most difficult challenges.

Our recycling rate is very high

We have set the bar high in our environmental work. We analyze the environmental impact of our operations annually and identify our key opportunities for reducing negative or boost positive impact. The high recycling rate of production waste and sidestream is one of our priorities, where we have had great success. For 2021, our recycling rate was 80%, which is significantly higher than the industry average. We sort separately e.g. clear plastics and jute bags to be recycled as raw material for the jute or fabric industry. Since the beginning of 2020, we have been recycling our biowaste to the Labio biowaste plant in Lahti, where it is used to produce biogas back to the needs of our own plant.

Even in our salt cellar, raw material that have dripped from the packaging line on the floor is collected and further recycled into road salting.

The circular economy requires also small everyday activities. In our office, mixed waste bins have been removed from the office and meeting rooms, and recycling stations have been built in the corridors with separate bins for e.g. plastic packaging, biowaste, paper, cardboard and glass. In our salt cellar, raw materials spilled on the floor is collected and further recycled into road salting.

Catalysts control the coffee odour in the neighborhood

Odors and fumes entering the neighborhood are also an important part of controlling our operations environmental impacts in the middle of the city. At the end of the year, we installed a catalyst in our largest roaster that significantly reduces odors and fumes in the neighborhood. This year we will install another one. For some, reduction in odors can also create mixed feelings – after all, the smell of coffee has been a significant part of Vallila since the 1930s.

For the spring of 2022, we are most looking forward to the restart of the roastery, which at the time of writing seems to be happening in the early summer. The challenges posed by the fire made us all understand even more vividly how fine our historic roastery is and how important it is to Meira’s DNA and soul.

Marleena Bask
Director, Strategy and sustainability