Valio

Valio

Valio has been a prominent figure in the Finnish dairy market for over 100-years, producing cheese, powdered ingredients, butter, yoghurt and 85% of Finland’s milk. Part of the company’s continued success can be attributed to the high standards of the in-house legal team, which prides itself on proactivity, collaboration and business understanding. The team has been at the spearhead of building relationships between public authorities and Valio’s executive management; these discussions have been crucial to the way in which Valio conducts domestic business. There has been an increase in international competitors in response to changes in the European Union’s approach to agricultural policy; an oversupply of raw milk caused increasing volumes of cheap imported products into the market. In turn, weak economic conditions in Finland resulted in consumers seeking low prices, adding to the competitive market for Valio. Teresa Laimio, general counsel, states that Valio ‘need to stay competitive and find legal ways to protect our position in the Finnish market’. In order to achieve this, the legal department recently recruited a competition lawyer, in an attempt to provide strength-in-depth as well as an enhanced understanding of the market. In addition, the Russian import embargo proved challenging for the Valio, and the business restructured its methods of operation and actively sought new consumer product markets in order to compensate for the loss of sales in Russia. The legal team deftly adapted to this change and was able to support the new direction of the company.