Clean and innovative, driving exports

Valio has a strong Finnish image and our products are available in shops as far afield as e.g. Sweden, the United States, and Russia where Valio exports were up 10% in 2012. Demand around the world driven by technological innovations has made Valio one of Finland’s most successful exporters.

Valio’s international success stems from diligent work underwritten by technologically pioneering unique innovations, leading expertise, and especially in Russia by untarnished Finnish nature. Valio’s development and launch of the world’s first lactose free milk drink is one such innovation, and allied with the pure taste of our products we continue to hold position as the lactose free dairy products market leader in Europe. Lactose free products offer further export opportunities in the growing markets of Asia and South America, where the number of lactose intolerants is high but the availability of lactose free products varies from country to country. Sales in the segment are expected to double in Europe by 2016 and demand is growing steadily in the US.

One of our internationally successful brands is Valio Eila® which is also popular in Finland. With a fresh milk taste it’s the natural choice for millions of lactose intolerants in a variety of countries. In addition to applying lactose free expertise in manufacturing our own export products, the patented technology has been sold and licensed under the name Valio Eila® lactose free in Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Russia is the number one export destination

Valio’s most significant export destination is our eastern neighbour Russia, where the company is highly regarded and our products are associated with clean Finnish nature and Finns’ reliability. Many of our brands are considered premium products due to their high quality and Finnish origin.

“Exports to Russia are strong,” says Mika Koskinen, Executive Vice President, Growth Markets and Ingredients Sales.

“In dairy products the increase in sales is slowing, but the turnover of Valio’s Russian operations is expected to grow in 2013 more rapidly than the whole market, even by 10–15%. The fresh products segment in particular is witnessing a sharp increase, possibly as much as 20–25%.”

Valio was founded more than a century ago to export products made by a group of co-operative dairies, so the role played by international operations in Valio’s business should come as no surprise. And the reasoning remains the same: Finland produces more milk than it consumes and the excess is marketed abroad. The milk processed in Finland and the products made from it are known to be tasty and promote well-being. The strength of Valio exports is attributable to clean Finnish milk, expertise and responsibility.

Valio runs production and marketing operations in territories where products are sold under the Valio brand.