Valio Baltia manufactures and sells high-quality popular milk products to the markets of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. As in Finland, people in the Baltic countries value local products made from local milk, due to which Valio Baltia is a strongly local operator. Production has been centralised in Estonia, where Valio has two plants. Fresh dairy products – such as milk, yoghurts, quarks, creams, kefirs and cottage cheese – are made at the Laeva dairy, located in the vicinity of Tartu in Central Estonia. Cheese is manufactured at the Võru cheese plant in southern Estonia. In addition, Valio has sales units in Riga, Latvia, and Kaunas, Lithuania.
Valio Baltia is a strong local operator
Valio Baltia, one of Valio's five foreign subsidiaries, manufactures and sells high-quality milk products loved by consumers in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The products are made from Estonian milk with Valio's unique know-how, in line with the company's value “We make the best”.
Alma is one of the most well-known brands
“Consumers in the Baltic countries love locally produced dairy products. They also value good taste, freshness, high quality and a suitable price – all expectations that Valio meets. Consumers consider our products reliable and their taste and quality to be excellent,” says Krista Kalbin, the director in charge of Valio Baltia's marketing and product development.
Valio's products are sold under two main brands in the Baltic markets. Valio is the corporate and umbrella brand for cheeses, with Valio Atleet and Valio Forte propably the most well-known Valio cheeses in the Baltic countries. Alma, one of the leading and best-known dairy product brands in Estonia, is the brand for fresh dairy products.
“We are the market leader in many fresh dairy products, such as yoghurts, milks and creams. We also invest in new products. In the past few years, we have introduced to the market products such as Alma yoghurt smoothies, Alma Muah! gourmet yoghurts and the Valio Atleet Cheddar cheese,” says Kalbin.
Long-term development work and local milk
Valio boasts a long history in the Baltic countries. Valio Eesti AS was established in 1992 as a sales and marketing office. Nowadays, Valio Baltia is represented in all of the Baltic countries, meaning Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Production has been centralised in Estonia, where Valio has two plants. Fresh dairy products – such as milk, yoghurts, quarks, creams, kefirs and cottage cheese – are made at the Laeva dairy, located in the vicinity of Tartu in Central Estonia. Cheese is manufactured at the Võru cheese plant in southern Estonia. In addition to our presence in Estonia, Valio has sales units in Riga, Latvia, and Kaunas, Lithuania.
Over the years, Valio Baltia has grown and achieved a more important position in the local dairy markets. At the moment, Valio is the biggest buyer of raw milk in Estonia. The milk for Valio's plants in Estonia is collected from dairy farms in Central and southern Estonia, whose distance from the plants is 100 kilometres at most.
“We aim to be Estonia's leading dairy company, and to develop and sell high-quality products that are made from pure Estonian milk. And we want to offer consumers the best taste experiences,” says Maido Solovyov, CEO of Valio Baltia.
Investing in exports and on local position
Valio Baltia's strong local position is the result of high-quality products and continuous development, meaning investments in plants, people and brands. This development work has helped Valio earn the acceptance and trust of local people.
“We work hard and listen to consumers to be able to offer them tasty products of the highest quality. Valio Baltia operates responsibly and takes care of its employees, environment and society in general. These principles also guide the operations of the entire Valio Group,” says Solovyov.
Continuous development is important, because the Baltic markets are small, price-sensitive and extremely competitive. Competition is particularly fierce in Estonia, where six larger and several smaller local dairies as well as imported milk products compete for over 1.3 million consumers.
“The milk market in the Baltics is very advanced and, as in the Nordic countries, the product selection is extensive in comparison to many European countries. This is why we invest heavily in exports in addition to the local markets. The export markets include Italy, Greece and the United States,” Solovyov concludes.