Farmer owned

Valio is owned by dairy cooperatives comprising some 3,700 dairy farmers. Farmers are devoted to their work and proud of the clean, high quality milk they produce. Valio pays out all our profits to dairy farmers. This is our way of making sure that we have access to locally produced food whose origin we know.


Finnish milk is among the cleanest milk in the world thanks to healthy cows. The superior quality of Valio milk is ensured by expert milk producers supported by first-class advisory services.

Valio milk ranks among the cleanest in the world, and we have zero tolerance for antibiotic residue in milk. Finnish cows are already the healthiest in the European Union, which is why, for example, we use antibiotics very little compared to other EU countries. Valio will pay two cents extra per litre to entrepreneurs who have proven themselves committed to responsible dairy production.

Dairy farms own Valio through regional cooperatives, and we pay out all our operating profits to Finnish farms. Choosing to buy a Valio product helps you to support a food producer.

We are a significant creator of livelihood in the Finnish economy: Our dairy farmers and Valio itself employ, both directly and indirectly, an estimated 30,000 people (Survey by Taloustutkimus in 2015). Furthermore, Valio is the most important customer for over 350 small and mid-sized businesses all around Finland.

One dairy farm provides a job for roughly three people: the dairy farmers, a veterinarian, vacation help, feed makers, machine maintainers and manufacturers as well as barn builders and civil engineering contractors.

In Finland, we source milk from Valio dairy farms, our owners, and in Estonia, we make products from local milk according to precise quality requirements.

We pay a sustainability bonus to farms that are committed to improving animal welfare.


We create work and livelihoods from Southern Finland to the Arctic Circle. Milk production is the only form of agriculture that is feasible everywhere in Finland – even in areas where conditions and fields are not suited for growing food crops.

Valio’s dairy farms produce roughly 80 percent of Finnish milk.

We measure Valio’s financial success with a value we have created for milk, which we call the milk return (Ref: 2). Valio’s Board uses that figure to determine the price we pay cooperatives for their milk. Valio’s Board members are, in fact, dairy farm entrepreneurs. They assess how much Valio can afford to pay for the cooperatives’ milk at any given time. The milk price depends on how well Valio’s various products, from yoghurt and cheese to milk powder and infant formula, are selling and on how profitable sales have been. It’s the cooperatives that pay the producer price to the farmers. We pay a sustainability bonus to farms that are committed to improving animal welfare.

Valio’s goal is to pay a producer price that is at the level of the best cooperative dairies in Europe. The price we pay for milk has been higher than the EU average throughout the 2000s.

  1. Milk margin = Net sales less other costs, excluding depreciation and the price paid to owners for raw milk and interest on shareholder loan.
  2. Milk return = (Milk margin less the requirement for depreciation of fixed assets i.e. financing requirement for investments) / milk volume supplied by the owners.

Milk farms and Valio employ 30,000 people directly and indirectly.


Working at a dairy farm requires a variety of expertise and good physical condition. A dairy farmer’s work includes taking care of animal welfare, ensuring milk quality, handling company finances as well as developing the farm. These farmers work nearly every day of the year, including weekends. Municipalities handle the farmer relief services that enable farmers to take a vacation.

Valio’s primary production services related to milk quality, animal health and farm development, for instance, are generally free of charge to our farmers. Valio and co-operatives hold training sessions on various topics, including barn building, silage feed, animal welfare and financial management. Valio encourages dairy farmers to use occupational healthcare services.

Come and meet the owners!

  • The northernmost milk in the EU is produced in the Finnish Lapland above the Arctic Circle. This unique environment with its clean nature is also where the purest of milk comes from.

  • For me this is everything. My life’s work. My purpose in life is to be a farmer. It’s a matter of honor to continue the work of past generations.

Animal welfare
Owners, governance and management
Sustainability management