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Our roots and people

In health and wellbeing, grandmothers are often the main bearers of wisdom and family tradition. With roots in the Estonian countryside, that’s how Siim Kabrits learned of the family recipe for a chaga-based elixir that his relatives have sworn by for a century.

As one of the drivers behind the non-profit group Organic Estonia, and encouraged by successful forest-berry exports to Asia, Siim Kabrits founded Chaga OÜ in 2014. He was soon joined by his aunt Anu Adermann, a former pediatrician and ex-CEO of a medical company.

Estonia is a perfect home for chaga mushrooms. Forests take up half of the small country, 1.3 million hectares of them are certified as organic.

We are on personal terms with each Estonian farmer, forester and woodsman that helps us harvest our mushrooms, herbs, and honey.

The same goes for organic aloe, which is hand-harvested by Enzo Agileri’s family business in Northern Italy.

We take pride in full traceability: each ingredient we pick is traceable to its collection point. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s what our customers around the world have come to expect.

Where does our raw material come from?

Picking chaga and pine buds

Estonia is a small country of 4.5m hectares, 1.3m of which are organic forests. That’s where chaga mushrooms and Scots pine buds are hand-picked for our elixir.

Tuhalaane farm, owned by Arvi Salujärv, is one of the oldest homesteads working with us. Arvi (pictured here in his organic forest) picks 2-3cm pine buds in May and June, leaving half of each tree unpicked.

When harvesting chaga, Arvi only picks mushrooms that are at least five years old. Our picking areas in Viljandi, Põlva, Valga, and Võru counties are monitored by the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board.

Aloe pickers

Aloe arborescens is a more-exotic ingredient in our elixir. Estonians grew it indoors and used it as a medicine in the early 1900s. But as Estonia is too cold for aloe to grow in the wild, we partnered with a family farm in Northern Italy.

Enzo Agileri began growing aloe plants in 2003, choosing aloe arborescens for healing properties that beat aloe vera, its more-famous cousin.

Aloe Arborescens Miller is a particular variety of aloe, native of Cape of Good Hope. The plant can reach two meters in height, with green-gray leaves and green-yellow thorns. It blooms in February and produces beautiful red flowers with tubular clusters.

Since 2005, Enzo added a lab to his farm, producing various aloe-based supplements under the Teo Natura brand. Like his farm, products made in his lab are certified organic.

Beekeepers and honey

Our organic honey comes from Everti-Kõrvi, an organic bee farm in Viljandi county. It’s been in the beekeeping business for three generations and runs 100 beehives.

Under the watch of father-and-son team Art Õun and Villem Õun, the farm’s bees collect nectar from organic forests in a two-kilometer radius.

This means that our honey is made from nectar sourced from hundreds of plant and flower varieties, from wild raspberries to blackberries, pine needles, clovers, and everything in between.

Bees are the busiest between April/May and the beginning of August. That’s when Estonian nights are the shortest and our meadows and forests are in full bloom.

Yarrow pickers

Organic yarrow comes from the Energy farm by the Navesti river in Estonia’s Viljandi county. The farm is led by Aivar Siim (pictured) who, in addition to growing medicinal herbs, also runs an eco spa.

Yarrow is a vibrant herb that strengthens the body and grows on any soil in Estonia. Folk medicine has used yarrow to treat coughs, colds, headaches, and general weakness.

Our yarrow is picked on July and August mornings — usually between 10 a.m. and noon, when morning dew has evaporated. As a result, the herb’s power and aroma stay the strongest.

The Chaga Health team

The broader team behind our elixir includes dozens of people in organic farms and forests around Estonia, as well as an aloe grower in Italy. Fruits of their hard work are then brought together in our production facility in Tõrva, Estonia. This is where your bottle of Elemental Elixir was born. And these are the people who made it. Hi there!

People

Siim Kabrits

Siim Kabrits

Founder and CEO

siim.kabrits@chagahealth.eu +372 5280059

I’m passionate about making Estonia bigger in the eyes of the world. And about exporting organic products from Estonian forests and farms - be they berries, medicinal herbs, birch sap, apples, or our very own chaga elixir.

I’ve launched or led several companies and been a member of parliament. But one of my proudest contributions is the creation of the Organic Estonia initiative, which won a popular TV pitch competition.

Terry Tamm

Director of Logistics & Production

terry.tamm@chagahealth.eu +372 5278837

I’m inspired by Estonian nature and the people I love. I deeply respect the wisdom our ancestors have left behind.

My background is in international transport and logistics, mainly sea and air transport. What captivates me in logistics is the need to tweak work processes and find the optimal sweet spot - fast.

Kristiina

Director of Marketing

kristiina@chagahealth.eu +372 5013518

I care deeply about Estonian nature. That’s where I spend most of my free time. As luck would have it, I’m involved with two companies that make organic products in Estonia.

In addition to my job at Chaga Health I’m founder and partner at Öun Drinks, a beverage company founded in 2014.

I have been in marketing for more than 20 years. But leading roles in my life belong to my son, family, and close friends. It is they who bring out the most beautiful colours in my life.

Anu Adermann

Head of R&D, Partner

anu.adermann@chagahealth.eu +372 5038173

I came to Chaga Ltd. from a medical and executive background. With my feet firmly planted in the scientific method, I think our team has the breadth and depth that any maker of natural, organic products could be proud of.

I was first trained as a doctor, with a medical degree from Tartu University Medical School. I put that to practice as a paediatrician.

On the executive side, I’ve headed the Estonian branch of Meda, an international pharmaceutical company, since 2003.

Eva Maran

Exports to Asia, Partner

evamaran@hotmail.com +372 56451639

My background is in international relations. Luckily, that journey continues here at Chaga Ltd.

Previously, I’ve served at the Estonian Chamber of Commerce. More recently, I was financial coordinator for Chaga Ltd.’s joint project with a Latvian company to develop gummy candies with organic freeze-dried berries.

Karin Kukk

CFO

karin@chaghealth.eu +372 55926372

I joined the Chaga team in 2018 and can’t wait to turn our ambitious plans to reality. It helps that I love numbers and financial modelling.

In finance, I’ve been an analyst, business controller, and, for 10 years, CEO. My Master’s in Finance and Accounting, and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematical Statistics have certainly been put to some serious use.

Outside work, my greatest passion is horseriding. And of course my family.

Tiina Riismandel

Export manager

tiina@chagahealth.ee +372 5233130

I have two rather different backgrounds that, when combined in the service of our export markets, work really well together.

I’ve held executive positions at airBaltic and Nordic Aviation Group, where I coordinated negotiations and contracts with business partners and airports. As I’ve always been enthralled by different cultures, beliefs, and traditions, it both fuelled and fed my hunger for travel and experiences.

On the other hand, I’m a health-promotion specialist, with degrees in health sciences and nursing. As nothing matters more than our health, we must do everything to cherish and support it.

I’m a big believer in nature’s power to heal - Estonia’s natural beauty leaves me in awe. Its pure, clean forests and bogs are a key ally in our quest for better health and peace of mind.

Mirko Pops

Head of Digital Marketing

mirko@chagahealth.eu +372 55526700

I like numbers and behaviour patterns. If you look closely enough, they contain the key to matching the right product with the right people.

I’ve been in advertising for about a decade. Five years ago, I plunged into digital at Estonia’s two largest media and digital agencies: Inspired and Mediabrands Digital.

Time flies when you’re having fun. Apparently, I have 1,500 digital campaigns under my belt. With plenty more on the way at Chaga Ltd.