Thursday, June 16, 2011

Åland – Aland apples and potato chips

My Dear Friend Ella, knowing my weakness for apples and chips, sent me these two nice FDCs issued by Åland on 7th June 2011.

Aland apples - The time has come for a new 5 cent stamp as well as a 4 euro stamp. Both stamps show the Åland apple cultivar Strömma with an interesting story to tell. More than 100 years ago, the Ålander Fridolf Sundberg began spreading his varieties of apples in Åland and the southern parts of Finland. On a farm in the village of Strömma in Hammarland, he discovered the Strömma cultivar. Fridolf grafted his different varieties of apples on crab apple trees in Örnäs in the municipality of Finström, where he settled with his wife Amanda. Two of the trees planted by Fridolf are still standing in Örnäs and yet another tree can be found just a few kilometres away. The apples on the stamps were photographed in Hammarland. Sven-Olof Sundberg, Fridolf and Amanda's grandson, today lives in Hasselbo close to Örnäs. He has a newly grafted Strömma apple tree in his garden.

Pioneers in potato chips in Finland - Chips Ab was founded in Åland in 1969. The founders then did not know that, 30 years later, the organization would consist of an international group of companies with more than 1300 employees in the Nordic countries, the Baltic States and Russia. We focus on Åland potato chips with a stamp issue on 7 June. Three private initiators who wished to create a land-based industry to compensate for the considerable emigration from Åland at the time founded the limited company Chips Ab. Agriculture, fishing and commerce had long been the most important sources of income, and the initiators wanted to bring about an industry based on some type of local primary produce. One of the promoters had come across potato chips ("crisps" in UK) during his years of studies in the USA. By then, chips were already known in Sweden and Denmark, but in Åland and Finland, potatoes were considered to be merely food. Chips Ab was the first producer of potato chips in Finland. Since then, the Taffel brand continues to be a leader on the Finnish market. Today, the domestic market of Chips Ab lies in the Nordic countries and the Baltic States but with local companies and local brands. Some of these are Chips (Finland), OLW (Sweden), Kims (Denmark and Norway) and Latfood (the Baltic States). The operations of Chips Finland are run from a factory situated in Haraldsby, Åland, a sales and marketing office located in Helsinki and a finance and economy department also located in Åland.

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