The owner strategy states that Valio operations are guided by the value We Make the Best. Valio’s mission is to maximise the value added of the milk produced within the Valio Group for the company to reach its goal: Raw milk price stability and Europe’s highest price for Valio Group dairy farmer entrepreneurs. The leadership principle is that the outcome of operations is decisive.
Corporate governance determines the composition of the Valio Supervisory Board and Board of Directors, and the powers of decision vested in different operational components, such as the Annual General Meeting, Supervisory Board, Board of Directors, CEO, Executive Board, Divisions, Group functions, and business processes.
Valio’s Annual General Meeting elects the members of the Supervisory Board comprising 23 representatives of Valio Group co-operatives and four representatives elected by personnel groups. The Supervisory Board elects the four dairy farmer members of the Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors appoints the CEO. Valio Ltd is organised into entities responsible for business operations, and Group functions.
The goals related to corporate responsibility are managed as part of Valio’s business operations which are in turn guided by the Group’s mission, goals, value, strategy, and corporate governance.
According to a materiality analysis (Niina Niemelä, Master’s Thesis, Aalto University School of Chemical Technology, 2015) compiled on the basis of a stakeholder survey (2015), the key issues for Valio’s business operations and stakeholders are:
Financial success and the price paid for raw milk to owner entrepreneurs
Product quality and safety
Open and honest operations
Communicating responsibility, interaction
Healthy and nutritious products
Valio’s guidelines on the content of responsible business operations and the goals related thereto have been approved by Valio’s CEO and Board of Directors.
Responsible operations are guided by goals whose realisation is tracked annually.
Valio familiarises each new employee with the responsibility guidelines and goals.
Reporting and its extent
Valio’s operations and the results of its responsibility goals are reported annually on the valio.fi website, partially applying the GRI G4 guidelines. Reporting covers Valio’s operations in Finland. 80% of the company’s personnel works in Finland and two-thirds of turnover is accumulated from the country. There are 13 production plants in Finland, two in Estonia and one in Russia. The valio.fi website describes Valio’s operations also with articles and infographs.
Valio’s subsidiaries in Russia, the Baltic States, Sweden, Denmark, the US and China are not included in reporting. Valio nevertheless employs similar procedures to ensure product safety and traceability, compliance with environmental regulations, and to ensure the well-being of personnel in each country where Valio operates.
The report describes the essential impacts and outcomes of Valio’s operations in Finland. Our reporting was renewed and expanded in 2015 to meet the GRI G4 requirements more effectively.
New items in reporting include e.g. the CEO’s review, descriptions of the supply chain, operating environment and responsibility management and reporting, together with Valio’s ethical principles and a more detailed stakeholder analysis.
Certificates and standards
Valio operates in accordance with certified quality systems ISO 9001 and ISO 22000, and related technical specifications ISO/TS 22002-1 and ISO 17025. Valio is an AB member of the international organisation Sedex and operates in accordance with the ETI Base Code of the Ethical Trading Initiative. Valio also complies with a number of stated principles, and customer requirements.
Instructions to Valio employees on a range of tasks can be found in the Operations System which is maintained on Valio’s intranet and includes e.g. instructions in case of a food crisis or other crisis. The Operations System also includes a compilation of Valio’s guidelines for ethical operations signed by the CEO.
The guidelines for responsible operations are part of the orientation program for new Valio employees.
Valio complies with the principles of the SFS-ISO 26000 certificate regarding accountability, transparency, ethical behaviour, respect for stakeholder interests, respect for the rule of law, respect for international norms of behaviour, and respect for human rights.
Valio’s operations are conducted in accordance with standard SA8000 with respect to labour, although these operations have not been certified.
Suppliers are required to pass Valio’s approval procedures. Suppliers from risk-bearing countries are audited. The countries are classified using the BSCI risk country classification.
Risk management and opportunities
The goal of Valio Risk Management is to identify those significant events and uncertainty factors that impact the realisation of the company’s strategic, operational and financial goals. Risk Management is part of the normal management of operations which aims to identify the risks related to the operations and prevent the realisation of unfavourable impacts where possible.
Risks are identified and assessed regularly, and their financial consequences have been taken into account in Valio’s insurance solutions. The most important non-life insurance solutions have been compiled into insurance programs covering the whole of Valio Group. Valio occupies a position of critical importance for national emergency dairy supply in Finland, so its risk management also has a societal dimension.
Methods of risk identification are continuously being developed, and the main focus of risk management lies on the development of preventive actions.
Valio operations are certified in accordance with the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards. In addition, the company has a crisis communications plan and instructions for the management of food safety crises. The occupational safety goal is zero accidents.