Review: Wild Super Berry Products from Loov

Berries are superfoods that we try to include in our diets daily. When we can’t get them fresh, we like to have products on hand that deliver their nutritional benefits in a pure and uncompromised state.

We want to use products from companies we can trust who are committed to sustainability and bringing options to market that better our world. Loov is one such company. An Estonian organic food wholesaler and distributor, begun in a small home kitchen in 2008, Loov produce pure Nordic foods.

We tried their cranberry and blueberry freeze dried powders and fresh juices in the same flavours. All organic, wild harvested and high quality, produced from berries picked and processed in their natural state with no added preservatives, sweeteners or filler ingredients.

The powders are excellent additions to smoothies, raw dehydrated snacks or enjoyed sprinkled on fruit salads. Raw and finely ground, 90g of berry powder is made from 700g of fresh wild berries picked from organically certified Estonian forests. We’ll be buying them again as soon as we run out.

Each juice is cold pressed from over 1kg of fresh berries and pasteurised using High Pressure Short Time pasteurisation. The juices are sharp rather than sweet and can be drunk straight, used as cordial or added to smoothies and juices. We enjoyed ours added to freshly squeezed orange juice. Whilst we don’t usually opt for pasteurised products we feel there are benefits to drinking these juices and Loov claim that after pasteurisation of no longer than 15 seconds, their juices still hold around 138mg of Vitamin C per 100g, well over the RDA for adults.

We spoke to Loov about the ethos behind their company.

Why did you start Loov?

LOOV began in 2008 when school buddies Ahto Vegmann and Kristjan Õunamägi wanted to turn over a new leaf in their personal lives and put their time and effort only into things that would bring them and many others love, health, prosperity, freedom and joy. These values are what the company stands on to this day.

LOOV is a mission-driven company and we want to offer people the opportunity to consume pure healthy food.

LOOV is an abbreviation of Loodusvägi (the power of nature) and the name of the company symbolises the primal forces abstracted from nature that we bring to our consumers. Evolution stems from a seed, an idea, a thoughtful moment of silence that brings forth the process of growth and changes in the life to come. The flower of life in our logo is an ancient symbol that carries this message – the perfect system of life grows from the germ of all being, the seed.

We want to raise people’s awareness of his consumption habits to more healthy eating habits and environmentally sustainable choice for the own health benefit and the benefit of future generations and the general sustainability of life on earth.

Where are your ingredients sourced From?

The ingredients are sourced mainly from Estonia. Only in cases when it is not possible to source all the ingredients from Estonia, for example due to adverse weather conditions, do we source some berries from neighboring countries.

Estonia is rich in pure nature and we think it is very important to share that.

In the Nordic climate there are only three months of potent sunshine every year. Within this short period every plant has to become very strong. They efficiently gather enough power to survive the cold winters and extreme climate conditions. The pristine forests offer us magical berries – the real Nordic superfoods! The berries we use are wild crafted from the certified organic sites.

Our products are all made in Estonia.

Why organic?

We wish to contribute to the development of a green planet. Therefore, our product range is 100% organic. This way, we reduce damage resulting from pollutants to both people and the environment.

LOOV’s mission is to provide people with healthy organic products using conscious product development, responsible production and marketing. LOOV’s vision is to act as a bridge between people and clean food brimming with the healing power of nature, and make organic products accessible.

We want to play a part in the development of healthy people, a clean planet, and organic farming.

The mass deaths of bees all over the world made raising people’s awareness about the consumption of organic produce and the chain reaction caused by their shopping habits a part of our corporate strategy. We are inspiring people to prefer healthy and environmentally friendly choices and are explaining the direct cause-and-effect nature of the field of organic farming,  letting people know why it is important and that our planet is strongly interwoven. An organic shopping basket and clean living are actually issues of global survival.

The intention of LOOV is not only to be organic but also natural! We like to keep things simple, using only 4-5 ingredients in each product. We are also focused on the greatest possible benefit of our ingredients – achieving the most optimal match of raw ingredients to make sure that the human body can get the maximum amount of useful nutrients from the products. This is how the vital nutrients that the body needs to function and renew itself are preserved. This is how the maximum nutritional value is guaranteed. For this end, we are creating the recipes for our products in cooperation with nutrition advisers.

Are your products sustainable?

The business model of LOOV is based on ethical and sustainable aspects in every field. The principles of corporate social responsibility are a part of our everyday routine.

Our operating strategy is strongly connected to the development of communities in rural areas. We prefer produce from small farmers and foster the creation of jobs in the manufacturing sector. When choosing our cooperation partners we always look for common values and focus greatly on aspects of sustainability. Before we start cooperating with potential partners, we learn thoroughly about their production processes.

We make all our business decisions based on social and environmental considerations.

We also buy all kinds of ancillary services primarily from partners who use sustainable technology. We focus on environmental friendliness when choosing packaging material (paper and glass) and print colours. Paper packages are provided with the CO2 compensation label. We compensate for CO2 produced in the course of production, thereby reducing our ecological footprint. We have our packaging produced from the Cyclus Offset paper, which is awarded with all the production- and eco-friendly certificates. All packaging is printed with eco-friendly colours. On all our bottles and jars, we use paper labels with an FSC-free certificate, not plastic labels.

We believe that sustainability also means involving the right people that can and are willing to perform at their best. Our small team consists of people that are environmentally conscious, share the same values, and contribute to the company for higher goals than merely earning their salary.

For three years in a row – 2013, 2014 and 2015 – LOOV received the gold-level quality label of the Estonian corporate sustainability index.

Are your products fairtrade?

We observe compliance with fair trade principles. Long-term cooperation relationships are very important to us, and our cooperation agreements are based on the principle of fair pay. We have created strong ties with farmers whom we know and trust. We in turn can assure them that we will realise their efforts made to provide organic produce. We have helped local small farmers expand their businesses and make a bolder move into the field of organic farming.

What is your hope for the future health of our world?

Our planet is strongly interwoven and an organic shopping basket and clean living are actually issues of global survival. Therefore we hope that more and more people will understand why it is important to make healthy and environmentally friendly choices and prefer clean organic foods. It is the best for our and our planet’s health!