The most important areas of responsible sourcing are food safety, supply chain transparency, social responsibility and environmental responsibility. Together with the various functions, we verify the quality, safety and origin of the raw materials, as well as the regulatory compliance of the packaging. We also require our suppliers and subcontractors to commit to our responsible ways of working.
Measured in kilograms, milk accounts for 96 per cent of the raw materials used in the products we make in Finland. Berries, grains, sugar and rapeseed oil account for the rest of the raw materials we use. In this section we address the sourcing of these non-milk ingredients in particular. You can read more about milk sourcing from the Cooperative foundation section.
ONLY APPROVED SUPPLIERS
Valio’s sourcing policy and principles guide our raw material procurements. We ensure the food safety and responsibility of the supply chain through a supplier approval and management process.
There are always responsibility risks associated with the production of raw materials because the production may impact the surrounding environment or people. We have identified the responsibility risks of our supply chain as part of the human rights impact assessment and the supply chain risk assessment. The most serious risks target countries where the protection of human rights is inadequate and the labour force largely consists of migrant workers. Violations related to working conditions are one of the most serious human rights impacts of agricultural products globally.
We strive to manage supply chain responsibility risks through supplier management processes. However, it doesn’t always extend deep enough into the supply chain. Therefore, we have separately identified the raw materials requiring special attention, as their production involves a particularly high number of globally known responsibility risks. We pay special attention to these raw materials in line with our global policies.
The rapeseed oil we use in Finland is of EU origin. The sugar has the Hyvää Suomesta (Produced in Finland) label, i.e. its domestic content is at least 75 per cent.
FINLAND’S LARGEST BERRY PROCESSOR
Berries and fruits are key raw materials in our products, so they are an important category for us in terms of sourcing. For example, our yoghurts and quarks are flavoured with jams from the Suonenjoki jam plant. The Pitäjänmäki juice plant makes berry soups and juices.
We give preference to Finnish berries based on their quality, availability and price. To ensure availability, we also buy berries, berry mashes and concentrates from elsewhere in Europe. We use a lot of Finnish blueberries, but virtually all Finnish strawberries, e.g., are sold to households; there isn’t enough for use as an industrial raw material.
We buy tropical fruit mashes, pieces and concentrates from, e.g., South America and Asia, orange concentrates from Brazil and Mexico, and pineapple concentrates from Indonesia and Thailand.
RESPONSIBLE SERVICES AND MATERIALS
The sourcing of materials and services that support production and operations, i.e. indirect sourcing, accounts for a big part of our procurements. We have thousands of suppliers, so close cooperation with key suppliers is necessary. We want to improve supply chain efficiency and competitiveness, and we emphasise responsibility already at the tendering stage.