The Supreme Administrative Court of Finland (KHO) announced on 29.12.2016 its decision concerning the pricing of basic milks in Finland from 2010–2012. Valio was said to have abused its then dominant market position by selling milk at too low price, and KHO verified the sanction of 70 million euros.
Vesa Kaunisto, Chairman of Valio’s Board of Directors, states that the sanction will not affect the price paid for raw milk to the dairy farmer entrepreneurs. The decision means Valio’s competitors will have the opportunity to claim damages in the District Court of Helsinki. The process will probably drag on for several years.
“Valio’s strong equity position and cash assets will serve as a buffer. We’ll have to consider the next 10 years investment programs in Finland,” says Mr Kaunisto.
The price Valio pays for raw milk is affected by the success of the company’s consumer products in Finland, Sweden, and other markets, the global price levels for industrial products (milk powder, and butter sold to the food industry), and the cost-efficiency of Valio’s operations.
“We are disappointed at the decision, but this case is now closed. Valio has moved on and we will focus on our strengths: Processing dairy products responsibly and developing world class innovations such as Valio ValSa® milk salt and developing and selling attractive consumer products such as tasty, low sugar snacks and protein products that benefit health in Finland and on international markets,” adds Valio CEO Annikka Hurme.