Valio, the Finnish dairy co-operative, is stepping up its activities in China with the opening of a new 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.
According to Euromonitor International, China is a huge dairy market and it continues to grow. China’s dairy market size was RMB376 billion (€50 billion) in 2017. The market is expected to reach RMB484 billion by 2022.
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’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,” says Xiao Lu, Managing Director of Valio China.
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.
“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,” Xiao Lu adds. Valio will also step up efforts to promote the development and application of its patented Eila® lactose-free technology.
“We’re really excited to inaugurate our China head office in Jing’an, Shanghai,” says Annikka Hurme, CEO of Valio. “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.”