Päijät-Häme Grain Cluster, Lahti Region
43 000 ha
Product development & research
Grain is an inexhaustible source of product innovations. In recent years, the product development efforts and rewarded product innovations of the Grain Cluster have focused on oat, which is processed into e.g. beer, oil and xylitol.
An evolving cluster
The investments of the Päijät-Häme Grain Cluster companies in new production facilities and new production areas have been very significant. The investments indicate trust in the future possibilities of the industry and confidence in the Lahti Region.
Viking Malt´s new malting plant was officially inaugurated on 23rd of May 2023
The capacity of the new malting plant is about 85 000 t/y and it replaces the old plant in Lahti. The new plant enables production of base malts, a wide selection of specialty malts as well as Sprau, Viking Malt´s malted faba bean innovation.
Hanna Ylä-Mononen appointed new chairman
Vice President of Fazer Mills Jarkko Arrajoki passed the chairmanship of the Grain Cluster to Managing Director of Villähteen Leipä Oy Hanna Ylä-Mononen at the beginning of the year 2023.
Investments by Fazer
The xylitol plant which started in spring 2022 and the new oat mill, raised the total value of investments made by Fazer up to EUR 65 million. Fazer also plans to locate its new confectionery factory in Lahti. It will be the industry's biggest investment in years.
A new biogas plant under construction in the Hartwall brevery area
Hartwall and Lahti Energy have a project to build a biogas plant in the Hartwall area. It will make use of the mash generated as a brewery by-product. Hartwall's goal is carbon-neutral production during 2023.
The reputation of the company, selected as the Best Worldwide Whisky Producer in 2020, has spread throughout the world and made the Lahti region known among the whisky enthusiasts and professionals in the restaurant industry.
Circular economy & environment
The companies of the Grain Cluster are pioneers in circular economy. Their goal is to use nearly 100 per cent of the side streams of production and ensure respect for the environment and compliance with the principles of sustainable development in production.
Videos of the Päijät-Häme Grain Cluster
Learn more about the companies of the Päijät-Häme Grain Cluster
The products of the companies of the Päijät-Häme Grain Cluster are part of consumers’ daily lives in a variety of ways. What the companies have in common is that they use grain as a raw material.
Fazer has been part of Lahti for more than 60 years. The company provides more than 700 people with jobs in the Lahti region.
Fazer Mills in Lahti is one of the largest mills in the Nordics and represents the best professional expertise in Finland. Its wide range of products includes flours, baking mixes, bread improvers, oats, special ingredients as well as consumer products. The production of special oat ingredients, oat beta glucan, protein and oil, began in 2015. Investments in sustainably produced Nordic oat continue: the capacity will double in September 2021, when the oat mill equipped with the latest technological solutions is completed. The last time the capacity of the oat mill was doubled was in 2017.Company website
The selection of Fazer Bakery’s bread products includes dozens of rye bread varieties for different tastes and situations. The preferences of consumers are studied closely and new, innovative breads and pastries are developed constantly.
Fazer purchased the Oululainen Bakery in 1958. Lahti is Fazer’s centre of expertise when it comes to rye bread, and the classic Oululainen Jälkiuunileipä bread has been produced there for nearly 75 years. Fazer took over the bakery and mill operations of Vuohelan Herkku in 2020 and, as a result of the merger, Fazer became one of the largest producers of gluten-free bakery products in Finland.Company website
Hartwall’s aim is to refresh Finland, and it is one of the largest producers of drinks in Finland. Hartwall’s home, soft drink factory and brewery are located in Lahti, and its head office is in Helsinki. The story of the company began as early as in 1836, when Victor Hartwall set up the first mineral water factory in the Nordic countries.
Now, the Lahti brewery produces beers such as Aura, Lahden Erikoinen, Lapin Kulta and Mattsson as well as different water products, soft drinks, ciders and long drinks. 90% of the barley used in the beers is locally sourced within a radius of 100 km from the brewery. Hartwall provides about 700 people with jobs, of whom approximately 500 work in the soft drink factory or brewery in Lahti.Company website
The cluster of villages in Vainio, Kankaantaka, Hollola, is one of the oldest settlements in Finland. There, only a ten-minute drive from Lahti city centre, a farm restaurant that can be booked for memorable and special events can be found.
The mission of the farm brewery located there is to re-establish old farmhouse ales. The barrels of the brewery are used to produce e.g. the most well-known beer of Hollolan Hirvi, Kivisahti, which is specially produced by dropping glowing stones in the hot mash tun at the end of the mashing process. It is the oldest method of heating the mash, from the age before iron receptacles.Company website
Oats have been grown on the fertile fields of Päijät-Häme at the Kinnari farm in Hollola already since 1667. The products of the farm are sold widely in Finland in the shops of the S Group and the K Group, as well as its own farm shop in Hollola. In addition, you can find flour, flakes and a broader range of foodstuff and other interesting products at Kinnari’s online shop. Unsteamed oat products maintain the vital characteristics and delicious taste of fresh oats.
In 2021, a mill line focusing only on oats was completed at the home farm. The Okeroinen Mill in Lahti, owned by the Kinnari farm, grinds different types of wheat, barley and rye products.Company website
Lammin Sahti has upheld Finnish national heritage “Sahti” since it was established in 1985. The turnover of a few hundreds of thousands of Finnish markka in the first years of the company has grown to more than EUR 2 million. Overall, they have brewed more than one million litres of sahti in 35 years. The production capacity of sahti has grown from 50 litres to more than 1,300 litres.
Lammin Sahti has won several prizes, and it was selected as the best beer in Finland in 2018. During the high season, the Kääriäinen family company provides 15–20 people with jobs.Company website
Pekan Leipä Oy
Pekan Leipä is a bakery in Heinola, established in 1964, whose traditional recipes for breads and pastries are combined with modern flavours in the right proportion. The bakeries, located in Villenkatu and Reumantie in Heinola, use modern methods to bake handcrafted, professionally and with respect for tradition, authentic flavours for Finnish homes.
The products of Pekan Leipä are available in shops, restaurants and cafés in southern Finland and in bakeries all over Finland. Since 2003, Pekan Leipä has also exported organic bread to Germany. The export business has developed over the years and is now based in Heinola, in a separate organic bakery on Reumantie. The organic bakery supplies organic rye bread to Central Europe.Company website
The family-owned company Pulla-Pojat has offered delicious Finnish bakery products since 1957. Their bakery at Salpakangas in Hollola sells products to customers both on site and to order – bread, pastries and confectioneries. The bakery also has a shop and a café that serves lunch. In addition, Pulla-Pojat products are available at the bakery’s own online shop.
Circular economy is a part of the everyday activities of the Pulla-Pojat bakery. For instance, the surplus malted barley mash from a local microbrewery is used as an ingredient of the tasty rye tin loaf by Pulla-Pojat.
The company has stayed in the family from one generation to another, and the current owner of the bakery is the founder’s grandson Kari Virtanen.Company website
The café-confectionery Sinuhe, named after the Mika Waltari novel The Egyptian, has been a cornerstone of Lahti’s café scene since the 1950s.
The cafés are only part of the Lahti-based Valtari family company’s business operations, however, as its main lines of business are bakery products and catering. Sinuhe is one of the largest bakeries in Finland, and it provides about 150 people with jobs in its cafés, store and deli.Company website
Teerenpeli has succeeded in combining restaurant operations, beer making and the production of whisky and other distilled products. The reputation of the restaurant chain that has delighted the residents of Lahti with its beers, ciders and whisky since 1994 has grown remarkably, as its whisky was selected the best whisky in the world in 2020.
Teerenpeli is owned by Anssi and Marianne Pyysing. The turnover of the Teerenpeli Yhtiöt group is about EUR 14 million, and it provides approximately 100 people with jobs.Company website
Viipurilainen Kotileipomo is a second-generation family company. Its operations are heavily based on the sourdough rye and artisan breads sold in stores and made from locally sourced raw materials and baked with traditional methods. The company also runs a café in its premises and develops innovative oat products.Company website
Villähteen Leipä is an expert of frozen baked goods and contract manufacturing. The bakery is run by a third generation of the same family, and today they are known for their top-quality frozen baked goods, such as buns and pastries. They are available in in-store bakeries and frozen goods sections, the selections of wholesalers and various restaurants and cafés. In addition to industrial baking, Villähteen Leipä delights pastry enthusiasts with the fresh selection of its own café-store. Villähteen Leipä provides about 20 people with jobs.Company website
Viking Malt is part of the Polttimo Group, a family company established in Lahti in 1883. The Group includes the malt company Viking Malt and Senson Oy. Viking Malt is one of the five and ten largest malt companies in Europe and the world, respectively.
The main products of Viking Malt are malts delivered to breweries and distilleries. The company is also the largest single refiner of barley in Päijät-Häme. Viking Malt’s sister company Senson Oy produces malt extracts and enzymes for the food industry and imports ingredients used by the food industry. In addition to Finland, Viking Malt is active in Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania and Poland. The company provides about 260 people with jobs.Company website
The Vääksyn Mylly mill was built during World War II, and it began its operations in 1942. During the war, the mill was built by women and elderly men. A residential building with offices and, in the early years, a bakery was built on the same plot.
Today, the selection of Vääksyn Mylly contains nearly 60 different grain products delivered primarily to local bakeries, catering kitchens, restaurants and stores. The best-known products of Vääksyn Mylly are probably various flakes made with the authentic method of steaming. The mill provides six professionals with a year-round job, and in the summer its number of employees almost doubles.Company website
Deep in the ridges of Salpausselkä flows the most valuable raw material of the Grain Cluster, clean groundwater.
Hartwall has access to the groundwater through its own water supply in Renkomäki, Lahti. “Water is an important resource for us as all of our products contain at least 90% water.”
– Hartwall’s Brew Master Hannele Alakarhu