Finland became an independent state on 6 December 1917.
Valio, which turns 112 this year, and Finland, which celebrates 100 years of independence, have moved forward and developed side by side. Valio is part of the story of Finland and many Finnish people. It is therefore fitting for Valio to join in the celebrations honouring Finland's 100 years of independence by taking part in events and activities that boost a common spirit and bring Finns together.
Valio has a long tradition of supporting junior sports, in particular. We want to continue to support Finnish sports over the next 100 years as well. We help children and young people to achieve their sports-related dreams through the Valio Akatemia® programme.
In mid-January, the Finnish Sports Gala will be giving awards to successful and respected Finnish athletes. In honour of Finland’s centenary, we will be presenting a special Valio Akatemia® grant at the Sports Gala to a group of young athletes who have shown exceptional team spirit and activeness. The recipients will have a chance to walk down the red carpet with top Finnish athletes and receive their grant in front of their sports idols – surely an experience to remember. We will also invite many other young people who have received Valio Akatemia® grants for 2017 to experience the atmosphere of the Sports Gala first-hand in celebration of the centenary.
The festivities will also continue in the spirit of sports at the end of February, in connection with the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships to be held in Lahti, Finland. Valio is one of the event's national sponsors. We will be there to cheer on Kerttu Niskanen, cross-country skier, who encourages children to engage in sports through Valio Akatemia®, in the pursuit of her World Championship dream. Cross-country skiing is, after all, a sport for the whole nation, much like Valio is a brand for the whole nation.
One of Valio's oldest products, Valio Koskenlaskija®, will be making an appearance in a new version of the iconic Finnish film, The Unknown Soldier. The new version of this film is being made to honour the centenary, and Valio is involved in the project as one of the film's sponsors. This cheese spread, made since 1933, was eaten at the front and, as the story goes, the soldiers also used it to whiten their coffee, given that milk and cream were not available. The film's premiere is on 27 October 2017.
And what would be a better way of celebrating Finland's birthday than enjoying delicious food and treats? The Finnish kitchen is full of treasures. Valio wants to serve as a source of inspiration for delicacies both old and new. Valio's products are the result of quality ingredients, pure flavours and healthiness.
Congratulations to Finland on its 100th anniversary!