Food safety

The safety of Valio products is guaranteed by e.g. high quality raw milk, an unbroken cold chain and a reliable internal audit system. All Valio products can be traced back to the farm of origin.

Milk collection and traceability

Milk collection and traceability

We know where our milk comes from

Raw milk is collected from farms every other day and milk collection routes are planned for efficiency and to be environmentally sound.

In 2012, collection lorries drove an average of 20.3 hours per day on each day of the year.

Collection is handled by Valio subcontractors who operate a total of 98 lorries that travelled a total of 24.3 million kilometres in 2012 (2011: 24.3 million kilometres).

Milk quality assurance

Milk quality assurance

Valio takes in only first class milk

Every farm examines the quality of milk from each cow, and checks the temperature of the milk in the farm tank.

The collection lorry driver checks the temperature, aroma and appearance of the milk before pumping it into the lorry, and takes farm-specific milk samples which are analysed on a regular basis.

The milk in the lorry is tested for microbial drug residues before it is unloaded into the milk silo at the production plant. The temperature of each milk batch is measured, and samples are taken for quality and composition analyses.

Purchasing principles

Purchasing principles

Quality is the most important requirement set by Valio for its suppliers.

Product and supplier surveys ensure that we are buying safe, high quality ingredients and auxiliary agents from reliable suppliers who comply with ethical principles based on the SA 8000* standard in their operations.

We audit our suppliers on the basis of risk assessment.

* The SA 8000 standard is based on the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the principles of international human rights norms as described in International Labour Organisation conventions.

Where purchasing conditions and quality are similar, Finnish suppliers are favoured.

The most important selection criterion for many of the ingredients available in Finland is domestic origin. These include e.g. wild berries.

Responsible purchasing policy

Valio examines the composition of the auxiliary ingredients and additives used in its products.

The suppliers are audited and required to provide detailed information in writing about the ingredients they themselves use and their origin.

We audit 20–30 suppliers annually.

Valio does not purchase seafood species determined as endangered by the WWF.

Rapeseed oil and sugar from Finnish fields

In addition to milk, Valio’s most commonly used ingredients are rapeseed oil and sugar.

The rapeseed oil used by Valio is 100% Finnish. The sugar we use carries the Hyvää Suomesta* (Produce of Finland) label.

* Products carrying the Hyvää Suomesta swan label contain at least 75% Finnish ingredients.

Milk packages from Imatra

Valio’s 1 litre and 1.5 litre basic milk packages have been purchased from Tetra Pak’s Imatra plant since spring 2012.

The cardboard comes from Stora Enso’s nearby Imatra Kaukopää plant. A large part of the wood used to make the milk cartons has been sourced from areas near to the these Imatra plants. The short transport distance from the cardboard plant to the carton plant reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

In-house control

In-house control

Valio exercises strict in-house control

The control system covers the entire production process from the reception of raw materials and packing materials, to the supervision of finished products, facilities and process equipment, and product transportation.

Feedback is part of control

Product quality is tracked throughout the product’s market lifecycle via consumer and customer feedback.

All contacts are recorded. Feedback enables us to act swiftly if required, and any faults are communicated openly.

Certified systems

Valio’s in-house control is certified by external auditors.

Valio production is steered by an ISO 9001 certified quality system.

The food safety system is maintained and developed in accordance with the ISO 22000 standard and technical specification ISO/TS 22002-1 related thereto.

Five production plants, namely the Lapinlahti cheese and ingredients plants, Toholampi and Joensuu cheese plants, Seinäjoki ingredients plant, and Tikkurila starter plant, run a food safety management system certified in accordance with the ISO 22000 and ISO/TS 22001-1 standards.

The key laboratory procedures are ISO 17025 accredited in the Lapinlahti, Seinäjoki and Helsinki laboratories.

Milk cleanliness is verified beyond the statutory requirements through residue control.

The content of e.g. heavy metals, pesticides, dioxins, mould toxins and other harmful substances as well as radioactivity are determined annually in raw milk and products.

The residual values were below the strict measurement limits in 2012 and were also well below the statutory requirements and safety limits.

Unbroken cold chain

Valio also distributes meat, bakery and ice cream products.

The unbroken cold chain preserves the products intact and guarantees tasty and safe food for consumers.

Valio targets environment friendly distribution

Valio distribution’s environmental load is reduced by running joint distribution with other companies, through lorries’ degree of filling (two-tier system), and by route optimisation.

Valio is involved in a unique trial, the world’s first in which the delivery lorry is fuelled with bio-ethanol and its radiator operated with industrial waste carbon dioxide.

The bio-ethanol fuelled delivery lorry has been in trial use for two years now and the results look promising: fossil carbon dioxide emissions have fallen by as much as 90% and particles into air by almost 70%.