The Valio quality chain is unique: our comprehensive system extends throughout the production chain from dairy farm to final products
A cow produces milk at a dairy farm in Ostrobothnia, Western Finland. The raw milk is transported to Valio’s Seinäjoki production plant which manufactures milk powder for use as an ingredient in for example the baby food industry.
99,98 % of Valio milk fulfils EU1 first class standards
The milk powder is shipped to one of the approximately 60 countries to which Valio exports. An international client, a baby food factory in this case, uses the milk powder as a component in infant formula, and the finished product culminates in food for babies in Southeast Asia or another location far from Finland. Powder production is guided by extremely high quality standards. Each powder batch can be traced back to the farm level.
“For infant formula the end user is the most sensitive there can be, a baby,” says Mila Nurminen, Export Manager at Valio’s Ingredients Sales unit and also responsible for hosting audits and communicating quality details to customers.
All Valio dairy products are non-GMO
Ms Nurminen is further responsible for audits where products have to meet standards related to religion, which means halal and kosher certificates. Mila is proud of the quality Valio delivers. “When I tour the plant with a customer’s representatives and they say in their final reports there were no deviations, I'm very proud of the work we've done together and the quality we have been able to deliver.” Mila also finds opportunities to convey the appreciation shown by foreign customers directly to dairy farmers rewarding. “We’re all in the same boat and each of us is responsible for quality. That’s the key to Valio’s success.”
The quality chain starts at the dairy farm. Healthy cows produce high-quality raw milk, the basis of Valio’s operations. All our dairy farms use a quality manual which determines good production practices at the farms. The composition and microbiological quality of milk are continuously analysed, and any deviations quickly corrected. In 2015, 99.98% of our raw milk was of the EU1 first class. Valio dairy products are non-GMO, as is the feed given to the cows.
The milk lorry drivers have signed a transport and quality agreement with Valio and are responsible for their part of the quality chain. At the dairy farm they measure the temperature of the raw milk in the farm tank, check the milk’s aroma, and take a sample from each milk load. Once the raw milk has been tested to confirm there are no antibiotic residues, it can be pumped into the dairy silo at plant reception.
Our production plants operate in-house control plans which cover the entire production process from the reception of ingredients and packaging materials to the control of finished products, the premises and process equipment, and product warehousing and transport. The production chain for each product item can be traced back to the farm level. Today, it is important that the product’s country of origin and full provenance can be proven to customers. It must also be ensured that no external factor can cause damage to the products at any point.
The unbroken cold chain expresses Valio's utmost expertise and know-how. As part of organizing product distribution, we optimise routes for our delivery lorries to customers in inspected food grade containers or lorries that are committed to the unbroken cold chain. The quality chain extends to the consumer’s refrigerator, as Valio ensures each product package carries the best quality possible for the consumer to enjoy.