Valio’s quality manual for milk producers is a guarantee of quality for all our dairy products. The focus of the manual is on cleanness and sustainability as well as human and animal welfare.
Quality manual sets high standards for farmers
The quality manual contains production practice guidelines for the entire Valio Group. The guidelines include quality requirements for raw milk and instructions for milk collection and processing. It also describes requirements for collection equipment and vehicles, health of cows, feed and water quality control and environmental values. Valio’s quality manual is updated regularly and used in every single Valio dairy farm.
"The Quality manual is used in every single Valio dairy farm."
It is also important to develop production practices in a more profitable and sustainable direction. This is not new to us, as ethical and environmental aspects have always been very important for Valio Group and Valio dairy farmers.
Frequent collection of milk and samples
Milk used in Valio’s products is collected from farms every other day. The driver conducts a sensory evaluation of the raw milk and either approves or rejects the milk.
During the evaluation, the temperature of the milk is checked and recorded. A sample is collected from each farm and used for pricing and other control analyses. In case the sample contains antibiotics, we can track it down to the very farm the sample came from.
Good farm practises
Dairy farmers have to meet the milk quality requirements set by Valio, show good farm practise, and follow the instructions for exceptional situations as set out and maintained in Valio’s Quality manual.
The quality agreement also guarantees long-term co-operation between the farm and Valio. It obliges our dairy farmers to use a template of self-evaluation to describe how they operate the farm. The template includes aspects of sanitation, feed and water quality control, pest control, waste handling, food safety and traceability as well as storages – each requiring input from the farmer. On Valio’s behalf, the quality monitoring is based on continuous milk analyses and annually farm audits.
Food safety is a high priority
Food safety in Valio farms is based on EU and national legislation. It is monitored by Food Safety Authority Evira. Farm controls are arranged once every three years by the authority.
Valio farmers are not allowed to use GMO-feed at their farms. To ensure this, feed for the animals is delivered from accepted suppliers only. If treated with antibiotics, every single animal must be tested after the withdrawal period. When collecting milk, the lorry driver takes a sample from every farm tank and only the milk with negative results continues to further processing.
Based on EU-legislation, the bacteria count of good milk is less than 50 000/ml with low bacteria count a sign of high quality milk products. Good milking hygiene, appropriate cooling of milk and clean equipment are the most important things in keeping bacteria count low. An indispensable tool to make this happen in all Valio farms is our quality manual.