Maximising gains and rising to challenges in the North
While rearing dairy cattle in even the northernmost parts of Finland may seem quite a challenge, Valio has succeeded in turning adversity into opportunity and expertise.
Resolving the apparent difficulties posed by the setting have led to novel solutions that enhance our dairy cows’ health and well-being beyond the norm, and quality systems that impose greater discipline and traceability.
In fact, it turns out that combined with a spirit of innovation, nature’s pristine northern environment is the perfect location in which to produce, process and export dairy.
Focusing first on feeding
Top quality dairy products need the right raw material, in this case the cleanest milk in the EU. The chain starts with good feed for healthy cows. Securing the best possible fodder led Valio, and one man in particular, to scientific innovations of historic importance to human nutrition.
High quality silage all year around
The long Finnish winters make it hard for cows to obtain suitable nutrition, a problem which encouraged Valio Laboratory Director (1920−1970) and Nobel laureate Artturi I. Virtanen to invent the eponymous AIV silage method, giving our cows access to high quality fodder all year round. The climate also irons out seasonal variation enabling us to produce milk of a more even quality.
Securing good silage made from cut grass is a precise process in Finland. The grass is harvested when its nutritional content is at its peak, pre-dried on the fields and usually preserved through acidification, which keeps the silage green, aromatic and fresh throughout the winter. The principal cattle feed elsewhere in the world is largely corn.
Top quality dairy products need the right raw material.The chain starts with good feed for healthy cows.