Our values are communicated to our customers both in the media and in the stories on the farm. They are the basis of all our operations, including our responsibility in tourism. In 2020 we committed to the principles of sustainable tourism and received a Green Activities certificate for our sustainable operations as a travel company. Check out our values here. Kujala Reindeer Farm has undergone Visit Finland's Sustainable Travel Finland program and meets all the set criteria. We have been awarded
the Sustainable Travel Finland label for our valuable and long-term work for sustainable tourism.
Nature and well-being
Our family lives on reindeer and reindeer husbandry. As reindeer herders we do our work on nature’s terms. We spend a lot of our time in the nature with reindeer. We live in harmony with nature and with huge respect for nature from generation to generation. After all, nature is the lifeblood of our beloved reindeer. We need nature’s help in our work in the summer for earmarkings and in the fall for reindeer round-ups. We strongly communicate our love for our animals and respect for our nature in all our stories and in the presentation of our company as well as in the media.
In our beloved family farm we promote biodiversity through our own measures, such as protecting our own lands and allowing free reindeer grazing, it being a huge part of natural welfare of reindeer. When grazing the forests, the reindeer clean the forest floor, letting sunlight through the lower branches into the ground, which promotes the diversity of vegetation on the forest floor. We are building insect hotels and birdhouses for other residents of the farm. The farm also has houses for bats and owl, whose inhabitants play a part in the natural ecosystem in the farm.
On the farm and in our programs we move by feet on marked routes enjoying the surrounding nature with all our senses. We avoid all unnecessary use of motor vehicles to maintain nature and peace in the farm. We actively clean the premises as a part of our own operations and from minor trash left by others. We also guide our staff and all our guests for waste sorting and waste minimization. Sorting and recycling points can be found around the farm.
Some of our programs happen also in protected areas, such as several national parks in our neighboring area. Which is why we have an agreement with Metsähallitus' nature services on the possible use of routes and rest areas, for example stopping by a fireplace on our wilderness tour with reindeer. We take care of our own well-being in the nature, where we leave no trace behind. We also instruct our guests to act responsibly in the nature. We share instructions to our guests and followers how to behave in the nature, while meeting reindeer and acting in problem situations. We stand strong against bear watching and other hazardous activity in the nearby nature. We do not recommend anyone to take part in bear watching (!) and can very well point out the reasons why.
We are creating new wellness products around nature and reindeer. The presence of animals creates peace around us and helps us to focus on the present. Animals, nature, exercise and art are combined on our farm in different experiences.
When building new facilities, we damage the nature of the area as little as possible. All the buildings are designed in environmental terms. Among other things, we prefer traditional barn construction in our warehouses. In landscaping, we take into account the original nature of the area. Forest floor “kuntta” has been brought around the hut to cover the built environment in accordance with the original land.
Cooperation and locality
We participate in various events and education to network in person with other actors in Kuusamo area. We have developed our reindeer travel business in cooperation with other companies in the region. We are also working on joint projects with other companies in the region to develop our operations and further intensify cooperation locally.
We primarily use services and products from companies in our vicinity. We also develop our products for the needs of local partners. The products sold on the farm boutique represent local crafts from reindeer materials. The food served on the farm comes through a local caterer made from the farm’s own reindeer meat and other local wild foods. Check out our partners here.
Our farm's products are also under the Wild Food Kuusamo Lapland brand, and our farm is part of the Slow Food Kuusamo protocol, which promotes the awareness of clean and tasty Finnish local food in the region and around the world. We are creating new ways to utilize reindeer in our crafts and meat products. Our farm’s products are sold directly from the farm and at selected local shops and restaurants. The art of our farm’s very own artist is often displayed in local accommodations, cafes and restaurants.
Culture and tradition
The long history of the family farm has strongly tied us to our current place in the house Kujala in Nissinvaara, Kuusamo since 1860. We know the history of the area and pass on the information also to our guests in our stories and in old photographs found in the hut. As reindeer herders, we naturally know the cultural traditions of the area and live according to them. As genuine reindeer herding people, we know how to convey truthful information about reindeer and reindeer husbandry. The knowledge of our sempiternal livelihood is, of course, passed down from generation to generation through practice.
In our products and services, we primarily utilize the region's own cultural heritage and the know-how, knowledge and experience that represent it, respecting its genuine origin. In addition to our traditional culture we use Finnish and local characteristics in our programs and marketing, such as the pure precious nature of ours, forest and its products and the peace and well-being that we can draw from the nature.
Locality is highly reflected also in our products and material choices. We cherish the strong tradition of handicrafts and prefer domestic high-quality materials in our products and in our own use. The products in our store are our own reindeer products, such as meat, hides and antlers, arts and crafts or other local high-quality handicraft products. We strive to make full use of reindeer, which also contributes to our financial sustainability. Our clothes are handmade from reindeer leather in the skillful hands of Kati Juujärvi in the village of Juotas. Reindeer leather products of the KatiJuu brand can also be found extensively on our farm. Check out our friend and trusted seamstress here. As our store space sometimes expands, we hope to add side dishes, wild herbs and sauces to the selection of reindeer meat.
Through our own activities, we support the preservation and vitality of the local cultural heritage, among other things by including the local cultural offer in our product range in the farm boutique as well as in our experiences. For a day, you can get to get to know the life of a reindeer herder and woman in farm work and other traditional activities. You can also come along for a traditional wilderness tour with reindeer, hiking on the natural routes of reindeer “poronpolku”. We also share information about reindeer and our various activities with educational institutions and kindergartens in the area, the Kuusamo city government and many other groups of people. Bringing reindeer husbandry to the modern time and to the knowledge of local people is one of our many missions in life.
We have taken into account the suitability of the new buildings built in our historic and cultural environment. We respect the old and strive for a traditional building style in the farm, of course favoring Finnish wood.
We annually support local cultural events by participating in their implementation or doing so financially. We participate in different summer events in Kuusamo, Ruka and Oulanka, as well as international winter sports events. We also support local sports. Juha is the former chairman of the “Kuusamon Pallo Karhut” football division, where our love for football and the successful “Pölkky” women's volleyball comes from, which we want to support every year. Jenni is a member of the local Artists' Association “Taiteilijaseura Koillinen” and participates in joint exhibitions with her reindeer art with the aim of supporting a positive image of the animal featured in our city’s coat of arms.
We offer our farm visitors the opportunity to get acquainted with local products, authentic and high-quality materials, gifts, crafts and art to increase sales of local products. Reindeer meat buyers always receive recipes and cooking advice from the farm, and they usually come back year after year.
As a reindeer tourism company, we offer tourists high-quality services based on the natural attractions of the area and the destination. After all, reindeer is one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in Lapland. You cannot leave this farm just after seeing a reindeer. Here you will take with you a portion of the farm’s history, authentic tradition of reindeer husbandry and stories, local delicacies and souvenirs, the world’s best reindeer meat, memories for a lifetime and recommendations for other destinations in the area.
Also our staff is familiar with the characteristics of the area, many of whom come from local reindeer families. Even employees from other backgrounds share our common values as genuine natural lovers. Our staff is genuinely present with their own personality and their own stories, just like the rest of us.
Everybody is welcome here
We welcome all our guests with respect for equality and with tolerance regardless of nationality and culture, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability and sensory impairment. We have been visited by all kinds of people and we are happy about it. We strive to produce experiences for all senses and all people.
Our meals can be arranged vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and other food allergies taken into account. Disabled people are transported to the programs safely by snowmobile or other vehicles. We hope that we will know in advance about these disabilities, so we can follow through with the program successfully without delay. We appreciate all feedback on how our facilities work for people with disability.
Our targets for future development
In the future, we will aim to offer our tourists the opportunity to offset the carbon footprint of their journey with various alternative measures that are currently underway, for example by donating for protection of the forests and reindeer husbandry.
For next season, we will invest more in waste sorting, recycling and proper guidance for our guests. We also aim to reduce food waste with clear instructions and by distributing leftover lunch soup in takeaway boxes at the end of the day.
Our company has a Green Activities certificate which is a sustainable tourism certificate for small companies offering nature activities. We are committed to Visit Finland's national principles of sustainable tourism as an integral part of our operations on the farm. We will review our energy use and make a long-term plan to further reduce it.
Join us in the responsible journey and take the pledge!
Thank you for taking the time to read through our thoughts on responsibility.
Jenni and Juha Kujala