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Valio China establishes new business units of retail and food service

Published 17 May 2018

Finnish dairy and food firm Valio has established new retail and food service business units in China.

Valio held an unveiling ceremony for its China head office in Shanghai. 

The newly established head office will focus on serving the Chinese market. Besides the Ingredient business units, Valio China has also established the new business units of Retail and Food Service. By carrying on the century-honoured Finnish heritage in innovation and high quality, Valio China will stand side-by-side with Chinese consumers to create a better life together.

During the 30+ years since entering the Chinese market in 1986, Valio has witnessed the high-speed growth of the Chinese economy and has worked with partners to drive the improvement of China’s dairy industry.

Shanghai’s favourable location, the capability of global resource allocation and the economic concentration of headquarters can help Valio build its global sales, marketing and service networks, and reinforce its overall competitiveness and influence both in the Chinese market and globally.

Valio CEO Annikka Hurme said: “We’re really excited to inaugurate our China head office in Jing’an, Shanghai.

“In 2008 Valio created a dedicated office in Shanghai. Today we officially established our China head office. Right now, there is good momentum in the Chinese economy; we do hope that our China head office can write the next chapter for Valio in China.”

According to Euromonitor International, China is a huge dairy market and it continues to grow. China’s dairy market size was RMB376bn ($59bn) in 2017. The market is expected to reach RMB484bn ($76bn) by 2022.

People’s Government of Shanghai, Jing’an District Deputy Head Zhou Hai Ying said: “There is an old Chinese saying, ‘Eating is even more important than the Emperor’. With the increases in consumption, I am confident Valio products will become ever more popular among Chinese consumers.

“We hope that Valio, a globally renowned food and dairy company, can continue to offer fresh and pure products of high quality, achieved through strong control of the quality chain from pasture to table, and continue to provide delicious and healthy food to consumers, as well as to boast better and faster development in the Chinese market.”

Finland Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä said: “China is a very important market for Finnish companies, and we see a lot of potential in China.

“The strengths of the Finnish dairy sector include the high quality of products and the health and welfare of production animals. For example, our use of antibiotics is very minimal. The hygiene, safety and product traceability of the food chain are our competitive advantages.”

Bringing the genuine Finnish goodness to the China market

Valio’s connection with China dates back to 1986 when Valio collaborated with the Ministry of Agriculture of China to help develop China’s dairy industry by providing milk production knowledge training in Finland and Beijing. Valio DEMI demineralized whey powders entered the China market in 1990.

Thanks to Valio’s world-leading demineralization process and the pure quality from Finland, the product was widely used to produce infant formulas as well as chocolates and ice creams. Since then, Valio has been driving its growth in China by establishing a sales, marketing and service system to provide professional and innovative solutions for the premium dairy ingredients market in addition to demineralized whey powders and skimmed milk powders.

Furthermore, Valio opened flagship stores on e-commerce platforms, such as JD.com and Tmall.com in 2017 to provide consumers with high-quality enjoyment from Finland.

Valio China managing director Xiao Lu said: “Valio’s ability to win the trust of the Chinese market in a relatively short period of time is mainly because of our sustainable business model that ensures that our products are fresh, safe and traceable.”

Valio strictly manages and controls every process – from cow-raising to the collection, transportation, quality inspection, processing and warehousing of raw milk – to ensure the quality and safety of the entire supply chain, from farm to plant.

Xiao Lu said: “Right now, China is undergoing a new round of consumption upgrading, and natural, healthy and environmentally sustainable foods are gaining popularity among consumers. Valio will continue enriching its product categories in China to meet the various needs of Chinese consumers.

“For example, Valio’s unsalted butter, made using the pure, high-quality milk from Finland through a traditional fermenting process, was awarded ‘Best of Class’ at the World Championship Cheese Contest in 2018. It will undoubtedly be a pleasing addition for food enthusiasts in China.”

Valio will also step up efforts to promote the development and application of its patented Eila lactose-free technology.

Source: Company Press Release