The new Osuuskunta Maitosuomi co-operative is starting its operations on 1.9.2019 upon the merger of the Osuuskunta ItäMaito and Maitosuomi co-operatives. The Osuuskunta Maitosuomi co-operative is part of the Valio Group and is owned by about 2,400 dairy farm entrepreneurs in a wide area that spans from Swedish-speaking Ostrobothnia to North Karelia and from northern Pirkanmaa to Ylä-Kainuu. The raw milk volume produced by Maitosuomi’s member farms in 2018 was about 888 million litres, i.e. about half of the total raw milk produced within the Valio Group. The average milk production of the farms was 311,000 litres. A fleet of 35 milk trucks collect the milk.
Finnish dairy farms own Valio through regional co-operatives, and Valio pays all of its operating profit to the farms through the co-operatives. The Osuuskunta Maitosuomi co-operative holds 42.7% of Valio’s shares.
The Board of Directors of the Osuuskunta Maitosuomi co-operative is comprised of dairy farm entrepreneurs. The Chairman of the Board is Mikko Heikkinen from Lapinlahti, and the Vice Chairman is Hannu Hokkanen from Kangasniemi.
The highest decision-making power in the co-operative is exercised by its members in electing the co-operative delegates. The first election of the new co-operative’s delegates will be held in November 2019. In accordance with the co-operative principles and Valio’s owner strategy, all members of the new co-operative also have one vote in a delegate election, and dairy farm entrepreneurs are paid a raw milk price based on its composition and production method, independent of the size or location of the farm.
A frontrunner in milk production in Finland
The Osuuskunta Maitosuomi co-operative is domiciled in Lapinlahti and the CEO is Ilpo Lukkarinen.
The co-operative’s business operations include investment activities within Valio’s ownership, milk accounting, financial management, owner services for dairy farms, Valmakauppa, farm tank services, and milk collection.
The co-operative’s official languages are Finnish and Swedish.
“Our goal is to be the trendsetter and frontrunner in Finnish milk production. Maitosuomi creates an opportunity for its owners to succeed as part of the Valio milk chain. We produce Finnish food that is safe and in an ethical and sustainable manner,” says Chairman of the Board Mikko Heikkinen.
“During the first part of the year we have worked with the owner administration and personnel to define new co-operative’s future direction, targets and concrete activities. The highest possible producer price is one of the key goals of the new Maitosuomi. We will cost effectively offer dairy farm entrepreneurs services that will help in farm development and services they hope to get from the co-operative,” notes CEO Ilpo Lukkarinen notes.
Valio’s biggest shareholder
The Osuuskunta Maitosuomi co-operative is Valio’s biggest shareholder. The co-operative holds 42.7% of Valio’s shares, and it supplies about half of Valio’s raw milk intake. The milk is collected from a wide area, as shown on the map below.
Of the 23 milk-producer members of the Valio Supervisory Board, 10 are from Osuuskunta Maitosuomi. The Chairman of the Supervisory Board, dairy farm entrepreneur Esa Kotala from Lapua, is a member of the Maitosuomi Board of Directors. Dairy farm entrepreneur Jarno Kämäräinen from Kiuruvesi is the Maitosuomi member that sits on Valio’s four-member Board of Directors.
Regional map of the Osuuskunta Maitosuomi co-operative
The Osuuskunta Maitosuomi co-operative collects raw milk from 117 municipalities.
Evijärven Osuusmeijeri is a member dairy of the Osuuskunta Maitosuomi co-operative.