19.12.2022 Press release
Santa Maria's popular Christmas mulled wine mixture has been sold on the Baltic and Nordic markets for already two decades. However, a less well-known fact is that it is hand-packed by the people in Keila work center Töötahe (will to work in Estonian), which provides work for people with special needs.

"Paulig’s Santa Maria production has been a long-term partner for us throughout the years. Only during the COVID-19 pandemic, we had a longer period of pause in the production but could resume with the work after a more difficult period. For the moment six people are packaging the Santa Maria mulled wine mixtures on a daily basis, two of them have been doing it since day one, so they are real professionals, one can say. As weighing and calculating the mixtures requires absolute correctness, these can be packed only by people, who have physical special needs. Of course, we check that all products leaving our work centre are properly packaged, we cannot make any trade-offs here. Our employees have already developed a certain routine and automaticity in their work, so luckily, we have not had any big setbacks ", says Lea Türkson, CEO of the work centre Töötahe. 

The Santa Maria mulled wine mixture consists of six different components and with its warming flavour nuance has found many users especially in the colder winter periods. Ready to drink mulled wines and glöggs that can be found in stores may be too sweet in taste, but with Santa Maria's mulled wine mixture, one can get just the right taste balance. Since many of spices used in the mixture, are very strong for the smell senses, not everyone can work in the production. Indeed, there is an incessant aroma in the air, when one walks in the mulled wine mixture production room, which the employees don't seem to notice however anymore. 

 "Talking about the quantities that leave our warehouse, then these are quite significant. 2019 was a record year for our production, as 250,000 packs of mulled wine mixes were packed by our workers. This year the estimate is a total of 163,836 packages. Since we don’t produce for the Russian market anymore, our production quantities have also significantly dropped. However, I think in the Nordic and Baltic countries there are probably not many, who would not drink mulled wine at least once during the holidays, it is part of our traditions, like gingerbreads. And it does not have to be alcoholic at all, the mixture can be used with various juices also for children. The spices in the mixture, such as ginger, are both warming and good if one has for instance a cold. Although mulled wine mixes are generally used more during Christmas period, we package these throughout the year, even in summer", states Türkson.

The NGO Töötahe offers work for around 40-45 people and is thus the largest employment centre in Estonia that provides work for people with special needs. Depending on the season, different companies require mainly packaging-related work from the people who work at the centre. However, a separate workshop is set up for hand-woven rag rugs, where they are produced in various beautiful patterns and different sizes. "Once our employees have learned something, they are able to do the same activity with great joy and without any boredom. It is important for them to be in a supportive social environment and feel real self-fulfilment through this work", says Kaja Annion, supervisor at the work centre. 

More information about the activities of the NGO Töötahe can be found here: https://www.tootahe.ee/.

For more information, please contact: 
Margit Palm 
Communications Manager Baltics   
+372 5904 8554

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