Identifying the expectations of different stakeholders and taking those into account in the company’s business operations is a cornerstone of Valio’s stakeholder activities. The principle of responsible business operations approved by the Board of Directors and CEO guides stakeholder activities.
Valio’s responsibility entails the obligation to respond to the expectations of key stakeholders and promote their well-being. At the same time, we recognise they may have conflicting expectations. Our responsibility also entails open and honest interaction with stakeholders: Valio acts openly in relation to the people and corporations with which it interacts.
The expectations of different stakeholders are described per stakeholder group.
Personnel and potential employees
- Valio enables staff to take personal responsibility for their own work through high-quality management, utilises individuals’ strengths, shares a common concept of quality, and provides tools and goals. The bases for performance measurement and reward are clearly defined.
- Valio applies personnel principles: openness, fairness and equality.
- Valio provides a safe and pleasant working environment and good terms of employment.
- Valio develops products that are valued by consumers. Valio interacts with consumers in product development.
- Valio products are safe and traceable. Ingredients are purchased from companies whose operations are examined for reliability and responsibility, and audited if required.
- Products sold under the Valio brand in Finland are always manufactured in Finland using Finnish raw milk.
- Products sold under the Alma brand in Estonia are always manufactured in Estonia.
Reducing the environmental load. See National economies in which the company operates.
Valio Group owner entrepreneurs
- Valio pays Europe’s highest price for raw milk to the co-operatives and processes all the milk they produce.
- Valio openly provides information about its business.
- Valio supports the milk producers’ work.
- Valio supports the promotion of animal well-being.
- Valio promotes resource efficiency in milk production and consequently the reduction of environmental load.
- Valio offers on transparent terms commercially attractive products that are profitable for retailers.
- Valio’s product range is continuously renewed and Valio possesses know-how in product group management.
- Valio offers value added for FS and industrial customers.
- Supply performance guarantees availability on shop shelves.
- Valio meets customer requirements and in-house control guarantees product safety.
Suppliers of goods and services
- Valio complies with good business practices.
- Valio engages in long-term partnerships to develop profitable business.
- Valio favours competitive local partners in all countries.
National economies in which the company operates
- Valio Group generates value and well-being in society through innovation, employment, investment, and charitable practices.
- Valio provides emergency supplies of dairy products.
- Valio reduces the environmental load of manufacturing and primary production.
- Valio complies with the law, good business practice, and the national constitution.
- National nutrition recommendations are taken into account in product development.
Valio grants, on consideration, political subsidies according to the equality principle, to candidates who Valio believes act in a manner that promotes Valio’s business environment.
Addressing stakeholder concerns
Valio’s stakeholder activities include taking into account the issues highlighted by the stakeholders themselves, and developing Valio’s operations accordingly. This is achieved by involving consumers in product development and so launching products that meet consumer needs, and operations are developed on the basis of issues that emerge in interaction with the wider group of stakeholders.
Interaction between Valio and its stakeholders continuously provides information on the direction in which expectations and wishes concerning Valio are shifting.
Fountain Park conducted a stakeholder survey for Valio in 2015. It took the form of an online brainstorming project with 2,108 participants producing more than 3,000 ideas and comments on how they view Valio’s responsibility and that of milk production in general. A materiality analysis was compiled on the basis of the survey results. (Niina Niemelä, Master’s Thesis, Aalto University School of Chemical Technology, Degree Programme in Bioproduct Technology, 2015).
The survey showed that Valio’s stakeholders attach value to responsible milk production chain management, which involves attending to the health and well-being of cows, guaranteeing products’ domestic origin, securing the vitality of milk production, securing employment and investment, and ensuring the quality and safety of products and the environment. Stakeholders also considered open interaction and healthy and nutritious products important.
The stakeholders saw the greatest room for improvement in communication openness and reducing the environmental impacts of milk production and processing.
Valio is developing those factors in a determined fashion. Open dialogue with stakeholders is being promoted by setting up an ethical advisory board in 2016 and further developing and increasing dialogue with consumers in Valio’s online channels. Valio has determined its goals for reducing environmental impacts both in primary production and the industry as a whole.
A more detailed description of the stakeholders involved and communication between Valio and its stakeholders is shown in the graphs below.