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 2013, collection lorries drove an average of 20.4 hours (2012: 20.3 hours) per day on each day of the year.

Collection is handled by Valio subcontractors who operate a total of 94 (2012: 98) lorries that travelled a total of 23.9 million kilometres in 2013 (2012: 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

We know what we’re buying

The share of domestic purchasing in Valio’s operations is 95% in Finland and 85% in Estonia (excluding machinery and equipment).

Products sold under the Valio brand in Finland are always manufactured in Finland using Finnish raw milk. Products sold under the Alma brand in Estonia are always manufactured in Estonia.

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 is 100% Finnish, and the sugar carries the Hyvää Suomesta* (Produce of Finland) label.

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

>strong>Responsible purchasing policy

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.

(* 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.)

Valio is an AB member of the international organisation Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) through which we distribute to our customers information about responsibility and manage information concerning our suppliers.

Furthermore, Valio is committed to compliance with the ETI Base Code of the Ethical Trading Initiative.

We audit 20–30 suppliers annually, selected on the basis of risk.

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

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 is supplied by Stora Enso’s nearby Imatra Kaukopää plant. A large part of the wood used in making the milk cartons has been sourced from areas near to the Imatra plant. 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 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.

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. Tikkurila plant is also TS 22002 certified.

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 2013 and were also well below the statutory requirements and safety limits.

Unbroken cold chain

Unbroken cold chain

Valio contributes to Finnish food distribution and a secure supply

In 2013, Valio distribution accounted for a total of 628 million kilos of its own products and 56 million kilos of those of other food companies (2012: 655 & 50 million kilos).

Those products of other companies are meat, bakery and ice cream products, and fruit and vegetables.

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. Valio contributes to Finnish food distribution and a secure supply,

The bio-ethanol fuelled delivery lorry has been in trial use for three 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%.