Ain and Rosalin Süld, father and daughter, joined forces to take all-natural food supplements from Saaremaa, an island in Estonia with lush greenery, to the wide world. These are carefully formulated herbal extracts that are not alcohol-based, free from added sugar, additives, preservatives and colorants. This is very important since 80% of supplements on the market are sugar-added or chemically manipulated. We stand for 100% purity.
5 years ago Ain Süld made a career shift to his ancestral lands on the island of Saaremaa where he found out about the wonders of alfalfa, one of the most powerful medicinal plants from ancient history. Ain Süld holds an education in food technology and has been advised by the industry's best scientists. With the support of well-known specialists and doctors, the idea to use alfalfa and other naturally found plants in Saaremaa as herbal extracts was born. The idea was to produce honest and powerful extracts, the best of its kind in the world. Alfalfa, aka the Father of All Foods, became the centre of it all.
Rosalin, on the other hand, has tried many different supplements during this lifetime to support key nutrient deficiencies but majority of them turned out to be well-branded counterfeit products with detrimental effect on her health.
“This had to change and the only way to do that was to start our own manufacturing and take control from seed-to-shelf production process. Only then can we ensure the highest possible quality in our herbal supplements and their medical effectiveness. This was the start of a long, challenging and exciting journey...” explains Rosalin.
Science, technology & financing
Since the goal was to glean as many essential nutrients as possible from the herbs, the equipment had to be scientifically proven and custom-made. Estonian companies, however, did not have what we were looking for. In the end, they found an Austrian company that manufactures extraction devices, among others, for the pharmaceutical giant Bayer. The goal was to make herbal extracts that are most bioactive, meaning that the body can easily absorb the maximum amount of nutrients.
The idea was there. The equipment manufacturer was chosen. Next they needed money. To their fortune, the project fit perfectly one of the Estonian bank’s mission and it was also to the liking of the Estonian Rural Development Foundation. In total, 1.6 million euros has been invested into the project, taking them one big step closer to their dream of shaping the future of supplementation.
But then the cards turned
It took 5 years of hard work to build the factory and organic herbal fields. The opening of the factory was a huge celebrative moment for us. After all, this is a factory unlike any other in the world founded in the middle of pure forestry in Estonia with advanced custom-made technology.
But once the equipment was installed, it turned out that it was not working properly due to unexpected technical issues. It took three long months for the Austrian company to fix the problems and finally in February 2020, the factory was ready to start with production and proceed on its mission to change people's health and wellness.
Expanding fields for Nordic herbs
Alfalfa is a plant that is suitable for use as raw material in three years. For the first two years, it’s grown for the cattle. With proper organic maintenance and care of the plant as well as the fields, alfalfa can produce a crop for about ten years in a row.
“We’re taking over new fields every year. At the moment, we have over 20 hectares, with 7-8 being added each year,” explains Ain Süld.
Growing alfalfa is a science all its own. First, the quality of the seed is extremely important, then the question of how deep it should be sown. You have to quality control the bacteria in the soil, which is why the plant cannot be cut off too low. Of course, weather and time are also important factors for the crop.
Testing times during the corona crisis
When the coronavirus spread over the world, a lot has changed. Retail chains, where they were planning on selling, did not want to take on new products because of the uncertain times. While still making efforts to get on retail shelves, the company is equally focused own making their own digital channels a huge success.
Daughter returned from Singapore to join forcesFor a long time, Rosalin Süld lived abroad, both in Europe and in Asia, with the last three years spent in Singapore. There she gained valuable experience and worked with, among others, brand teams and social media analysts at Unilever. Later, she worked on multiple marketing and sales projects for health care sector companies.
“I decided to return to Estonia. I knew that my father was working on something remarkable, which is very much aligned with my own values and visions. My background matched what the company was lacking and I decided to join in. I first started advising them on sales and marketing on the board of the company, but now I am leading the company as the CEO with my main focus being on sales and marketing whereas my father takes care of the operational side of the business. We are a well-working power duo. After all, Saaremaa is my home and I am happy that I can bridge the nutritious gap between homegrown herbs and millions of people in need of pure and clean herbal supplements,” concludes Rosalin.
Shortened version of the original press article: https://arileht.delfi.ee/news/uudised/isa-ja-tutar-juhivad-saaremaal-euroopas-ainulaadset-tehast?id=91275433
Written by: Tanel Saarmann