Valio products are safe and traceable. The milk we use in Finland is among the purest in the world, and it contains no antibiotic residue. Our suppliers and contractors are committed to our requirements of a sustainable operation.
Measured by weight, 96 percent of the raw material used for production in Finland is milk. The other four percent consists of other ingredients, such as berries, grain products, sugar, and rapeseed oil. This section addresses how we source these other ingredients. Milk procurement is detailed on section Cooperative foundation.
Our first source of product ingredients in Finland is primarily local, and secondary sources are elsewhere in Europe. We source less than 0.08 percent of our ingredients from risk countries. With raw milk material included, the domestic content of our products made in Finland is over 90 percent. Valio applies a shared sourcing policy to our raw material and ingredient purchases in Finland, Estonia and Russia.
Our procurement principles state that we must buy Finnish raw materials whenever their quality, competitiveness and availability meet our criteria. For us to provide high-quality, good tasting products to consumers independent of the harvest, we have various suppliers in Finland and abroad. If, for example, the harvest for grain, berries and fruit is poor somewhere and the material is not available, we can source it elsewhere. We source the majority of our cartons and plastic packages from Finland.
In Finland, we are currently MSC, PEFC, and FSC certified. We are also a member of the RSPO (Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil).
The rapeseed oil used in Valio’s fat spreads is 100-percent Finnish. Our sugar is marked with the Hyvää Suomesta label, which means it is at least 75 percent Finnish. Organic sugar is imported, as organic sugar beet is not grown in sufficient volumes in Finland.
Valio is also the largest processor of berries in Finland: Our Suonenjoki jam plant produces the jams that give flavour to our yogurts. The juice plant at Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki, is where all our berry sauces and juices are made.
We favour Finnish berries, based on their quality, availability and price. To ensure availability, we also buy berries, berry mashes and concentrates from elsewhere in Europe. For instance, Finnish strawberries are sold almost entirely to households, not the food industry.
Tropical fruit mashes, pieces and concentrates are bought from other parts of the world, such as from South America and Asia. Our orange concentrates come from Greece, Brazil and Mexico, among others, and pineapple concentrates are from Indonesia and Thailand.
Valio Food Solutions works for professional kitchens and sells products that are made from various raw materials. Dairy products are made in-house, and other products we buy from our contractors.
The beef, pork and chicken used are 100 percent Finnish. Valio’s product range in Finland does not include any species of fish classified as endangered by the WWF – we are committed to the WWF’s fish programme.
Our goal is that all of the fish used by Valio Food Services is certified by 2025.
Palm oil is not used in any of Valio’s consumer products that are made in Finland. Some of Valio Food Services’ products may, for now, contain palm oil.
Our goal is to discontinue the use of palm oil also in these products by 2020. Our subsidiaries aim to discontinue the use of palm oil by 2025.
In line with our sourcing policy, we use only approved suppliers, and we can always trace raw materials to the production plant or the farm that produces the raw material. We use product and supplier surveys to make sure that we source high-quality and safe raw and auxiliary materials from reliable suppliers.
All our suppliers are required to sign the Valio Supplier Code of Conduct and meet its requirements in product and supplier surveys. These, as well as third-party (e.g. Sedex and Amfori BSCI) or internal audits, are carried out to monitor our suppliers’ principles and their practices.
Our suppliers are committed to following the ethical procedures of the SA 8000 standard. The standard is based on the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the International Labour Organisation’s general agreements on working conditions.
Valio’s supplier surveys evaluate areas such as work-day length, wages, occupational safety and the use of pesticides. In addition, approved suppliers must show that they use adequate methods to control food safety.
To improve the traceability and transparency of our supply chain, we want to shorten the supply chain and reduce the number of our suppliers.
We are also developing an identification process for sustainability risks in the supply chain. Upon entering a new partnership, we inspect the most significant suppliers on-site.
Based on a risk assessment, we audit 20-30 suppliers per year. This includes existing suppliers. Our own audits are focused on food safety.
We source less than 0.08 percent of our ingredients from risk countries. Suppliers in risk countries (BSCI risk rating) are required to be Sedex members. Read more about management of supply chain in risk countries at our Sustainability report.