Valio Ltd’s Board of Directors decided on 3rd February 2014 to expand the production and materials warehousing premises at the Oulu dairy by some 5,500 square metres, and add new equipment for the production and packing units. Together with the renewal of the after-handling system for ridge-top packages decided on last year, the value of the investments will total around 40 million euros.
The need for greater capacity is due to e.g. growing demand for Valio products in Russia. Turnover at Valio’s Russian subsidiary for 2013 continued its ongoing annual growth of around 10%. The fastest growing product categories were milks and yoghurts. A larger share of the products manufactured in Oulu is now exported due to new yoghurt products and e.g. new package sizes. The products go to Sweden as well as Russia.
The fresh products dairy in Oulu is one of the plants where Valio is focusing development. In 2013, the dairy manufactured around 150 different product items for the domestic and export markets, producing high-quality Valio milks, cream, fermented milk, viili fermented milk and smetana, as well as some Valio A+® yoghurt, Valio Hyvä Suomalainen Arki® yoghurts, some Valio Luomu™ organic milks, a number of Valio Gefilus® fermented milks, and Valio Viilis® viili fermented milks.
“Construction will commence as soon as possible. The new premises will adjoin the current plant on the same plot of land. Our goal is to have the new capacity available by summer 2015 and the whole project completed in 2016. This investment enables diversification and growth across all product categories, along with new product launches,” explains Martti Kimpimäki, Valio Oulu Plant Director.
“Increased production will also mean new jobs,” Mr Kimpimäki forecasts.
The Valio dairy and warehouse is a major employer in Oulu. The raw milk processed by the dairy is sourced from around 600 dairy farms belonging to either Milk Co-operative Pohjolan Maito or Milk Co-operative ItäMaito. Valio milk producers and the Oulu dairy employ in total more than 2,000 people in the Oulu region.
Oulu dairy in brief:
• Milk reception volume 113 million litres.
• Raw milk sourced from Valio Group co-operatives Pohjolan Maito and ItäMaito.
• Production volume 110 million litres.
• Number of employees 315–320.
• 145 milk distribution and collection drivers.