Career stories


Laura Martikainen

My career as a product development chemist at Berner began in 2010 when I got a job in the product development team. I have studied Environmental Engineering in Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences and I have a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Tampere University of Technology. Before starting at Berner, I had worked at environmental field for example as a technical sales support.

During my 8-year career at Berner, I have worked in a variety of product development positions. Our product development department consists of laboratory workers, product development chemists of different fields, package designers and quality managers. The products and brands under my responsibility have varied from hair and skin care products to aerosols, thus giving me extensive experience in development of cosmetics and hygiene products.

How is your job as a product development chemist like?

In this job, every day is different and that’s the best thing about it! As a product development chemist, I do a lot of formulation, that is to say, I develop recipes for completely new products and modify existing products. The development of a new product from an idea until launching it usually takes approximately one and half years. We plan in collaboration with product managers and marketing what kind of product we want to develop. After this, I begin searching for initial formulas and interesting products from our own selection, the market and raw material suppliers, for example. The laboratorians mix the ingredients and, in the end, the best options will be tested after having received product managers’ approval and having passed stability and microbiological tests.

My working days also include keeping in contact with material purchase managers, production planners and laboratory workers in our factories in Heinävesi. Together with marketing, we plan and come up with new ideas for products and product families.

What has made you stay at Berner so long?

Absolutely the best colleagues! Thanks to them, I have always felt that it’s nice to come to work. Berner also offers very good employee benefits. Actually, I never thought that I’d work with cosmetics but the versatile job description and opportunities for personal development have kept me motivated. You can always learn something new. The best thing is to see the fruits of your labour: when a new product comes from the factory and I know that I have designed it.

Olli-Pekka Taivalmaa

My career at Berner started in 2010 when I came in as a summer employee. I moved from summer jobs and part-time projects while still studying on to working as a registration specialist and then acquired the necessary competence for the position of a sales manager in agency business.

My first job at Berner was in product development with tasks related to organisation of raw material data and product safety documentation. After having worked here a couple of summers, in 2012, I continued as a part-time employee in different projects while I was finishing my degree in Chemical Engineering at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. In my final year project for Berner product development, I studied impurities in cosmetics and developed a safety analysis counter.

After graduation, I continued to work full-time in product development for nearly a year, until in early 2013, I moved to agency business for the position of a registration specialist. The business unit had a need for interpreting and applying REACH legislation in agency products. I had been in charge of the product safety data sheets of the business area for several years already so the transfer felt natural. Later on, the emphasis on sales increased in my job.

What does your job as a sales manager include?

As a sales manager, I’m responsible for the forest industry customers which we supply salt, urea and chemicals, for example. I am in charge of the whole service for the customer: I negotiate the prices with suppliers, I make purchases, I take care of the logistics to a certain amount, I handle the orders and offers… The service entity depends on the product a lot which makes my job interesting. Another responsibility area in my job is the product safety and quality which includes, for example, inventory audits and documentation. In addition, I’m the main user of many systems.

What makes your job attractive?

My job is versatile so I don’t get bored and I have nice colleagues. Our team is tight-knit and has remained nearly unchanged for many years. The work atmosphere and culture are not the same everywhere.

You have to admit that Berner is a good employer that offers the employees for example exhaustive occupational health services and dental care, in addition to investing in the well-being of employees in other ways. Personally, I also appreciate the flexible working hours and our way of doing things.

Filippa Savolainen

I work as a marketing and sales coordinator at Farmer’s Berner business unit that is specialised in agriculture. Before starting in my current position, I worked as a project manager at Berner Machines department in Vantaa. I was responsible for IT tasks related to ERP systems and running-in of a customer relationship management system as well as mapping the business processes, which was also related to my studies at Aalto University.

In early 2015, Farmer’s Berner had an interesting opening that fitted my educational background as an economist and my previous job experience as a marketing and sales manager at Nordkalk Corporation. Besides the emphasis put on marketing, the position also interested me because of upcoming reforms, such as the new operating model and online store. I was familiar with Berner’s agricultural supplies business thanks to my previous experience from the field so it felt natural to start at Farmer’s Berner. The transfer from another department in Vantaa was flexible.

What do you do in practice?

I produce a lot of different types of marketing materials from brochures and newspaper advertisements to newsletters and product labels as well as content for different websites and social media. My day can also include planning different events and marketing operations, keeping contact with an advertising agency and principals, product launches and sometimes I get to work with interesting IT tasks, for example with an event management system. At the moment, I’m working on integrating the CRM and newsletter systems. The best things about my job are definitely the variety and independence.

What do you appreciate in your job?

The advantage of a middle-sized company is that you get to participate in many projects and that also helps you to see the whole picture better. After having worked at Berner for a few years already and having seen different companies both in Finland and Europe, I appreciate many things here that you don’t find everywhere. Berner offers good training opportunities. At the moment, I’m taking part in innovation training that covers, for example, innovation and service design. I also appreciate how agile the operations are: things can advance quickly. Nice colleagues and relaxed atmosphere also spice up your working days.

Andrei vaaka

Andrei Legeza

I work as a Digital Services Development Manager at Berner. I’m originally from Ukraine but I came to Finland on a study exchange programme in 2003. My plan was to study mathematics and IT for a year at the University of Jyväskylä. In the end, I finished my Masters degree there, graduating in 2004.

Since my graduation, I have worked for a number of companies, including SEK Point, Satama Interactive and at Trainers’ House as a web developer and programmer. I moved over to Berner at the end of 2015 from Crasman Oy, where I worked as an account manager on a number of digital service development projects. My role changed from seller to buyer.

What brought you to Berner?

I saw an ad for a really interesting digital service development manager role. Continuous development is a way of life for me so the decision to apply was a no-brainer.

I was familiar with Berner’s products and brands but I didn’t know much about the company itself. When I started looking into the company more closely, they immediately came across as a good and reliable employer. I really identified with Berner’s values and the people I met during the recruitment process, and it was obvious that their values were more than just hot air. It is very important to me that I share the values of the company I work for.

What is your average working day like?

My average day is a combination of planning and strategy development, workshops, meetings and researching potential collaborators. Each day, I need to make sure that my output and our vision are in line with our overall digital strategy. At the moment, I’m working on our online store to deliver solutions for both our corporate customers and consumers. I get to work closely with people from across the company.