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Altia launches Finnish vodka made entirely from regeneratively farmed barley

A new Finnish vodka claiming to be the 'world's first' produced from regeneratively farmed barley is preparing to hit the market.

Koskenkorva Vodka Climate Action is the result of innovations between the brand's owner Altia and its long-time partner the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG), and takes it closer to its goal of being the world's most sustainable vodka.

The barley used to make the single-estate vodka was farmed according to the definition of 'regenerative farming' set out by BSAG's Carbon Action platform. This holistic cultivation method aims to mitigate the environmental impacts of agricultural practices by reducing or offsetting carbon emissions, improving soil health and protecting biodiversity.

As one of Finland's largest barley buyers, Altia is training its contract farmers in regenerative farming practices, an initiative that it hopes to have completed by 2025 as part of a group-wide sustainability action plan. The group estimates that if all the world's farmers transitioned to regenerative farming, up to 322 billion tons of CO2 could be removed from the atmosphere - equivalent to 10 years' global emissions. 

Altia CEO Pekka Tennilä said: "We don't want to do our work at the expense of our planet. Sustainable barley farming is one of the ways we aim to honour this goal, as barley cultivation is one of the major factors contributing to the carbon footprint of our products. Our collaboration with BSAG has given us access to the most up-to-date research findings and best practices."

The Koskenkorva distillery has a 99.9 per cent recycling rate on the resources it uses; the leftover barley husks are used to power its own bioenergy plant, it produces starch and raw materials for animal feed, and its CO2 emissions are captured and reused in greenhouse cultivation. 

Suvi Reinikkala, marketing director of spirits at Altia, said: "Koskenkorva Vodka Climate Action is an important innovation for us, because it takes the brand another step closer to its goal of being the world's most sustainable vodka. We want to provide consumers with more sustainable choices and show how we can create inspiring brand experiences while also protecting our planet." 

Koskenkorva Vodka Climate Action will be available from early 2021 and will be distributed in the UK by Indie Brands Ltd.

22 November 2020 - Bethany Whymark