Valio’s consumer-packaged infant formulas have received an export permit from the Chinese authorities. These new export permits allow Valio to export its powdered infant formulas, manufactured at the Lapinlahti plant, and ready-to-feed liquid infant formula, made at the Turenki plant, to China.
Valio has exported milk powders and demineralised Valio Demi™ whey powders for industrial use in China since the 1990s. Finnish milk powders have been used, among other things, as ingredients for local baby food. In 2017, Valio started to also export consumer-packaged milk powder to China.
"We want to strengthen our position in China as a trusted supplier of high-quality industrial ingredients. At the same time, we are building a consumer product market. Naturally, we are looking to generate new revenue, but profitable growth does not happen in the blink of an eye. Valio is, as of yet, an unknown brand in China, so there is a lot to do. In the first phase, we are engaging in negotiations with potential customers,” says Jussi Mattsson, Valio’s category SVP.
The new permits open up China’s growing infant formula market to Valio.
“Competition for consumer attention between dairies is heated. In China, online stores, markets and baby supply store shelves are filled with choices from dozens of manufacturers. Valio’s strengths include Finland’s pure natural environment and extremely high-quality milk, provided directly by our owners, 5,000 Finnish dairy farms. Chinese parents want, most of all, safe food for their children,” continues Mattsson.
Valio has invested in producing high-quality powders and infant formulas for several decades. In 2014, a new powder plant was opened at Lapinlahti, meeting the most stringent of quality criteria. In the 2010s, China has been revamping its food legislation and permit procedures for imported food products. Many Valio production plants have already received approvals to manufacture milk powder, cheese and butter for the Chinese market.