Valio, Finland's leading developer and marketer of milk-based food products, and Huhtamaki, one of the world's largest consumer packaging specialists, are to co-operate further in order to develop better packaging.
The two companies have signed a letter of intent giving Huhtamaki a priority position whenever Valio is in search of a new packaging solution.
Huhtamaki's original packaging plant in Hameenlinna, Finland, has supplied Valio with paperboard and plastic packaging for yoghurt, edible fats and spreads as well as ice cream since 1963. It has also provided high-performance flexible packaging since the acquisition of the Dutch packaging giant Van Leer in 1999.
"Packaging plays an increasingly central role in the quality and marketing of branded food products. We see many opportunities to develop better packaging together with Huhtamaki, thus offering added value for customers," said Pentti Paloranta, Valio's senior vice president of domestic sales and marketing.
"Huhtamaki commands all packaging technologies relevant for Valio and supplies entire packaging systems, such as those for ice cream. Furthermore, the company has local packaging production and market experience in all of Valio's most important markets," Paloranta pointed out.
"During 2002, we have developed six new packaging solutions for Valio, including thermoformed, labelled pots for premium yoghurt and dessert puddings," said Pekka Jokimies, business development manager at Huhtamaki Finland.
"A breakthrough project in flexible packaging is the new, tear-proof wrapper for Valio's Aura blue cheese. Replacing aluminium foil, the advanced laminate material will be supplied by Huhtamaki's Ronsberg plant in Germany starting in December 2002," Jokimies said.
Huhtamaki has recently established a Technology & Development Centre for rigid paperboard and plastic packaging. One of its focal areas is multi-layer barrier materials, which enhance the freshness and shelf-life of food products. Huhtamaki introduced such technology several years ago for margarine tubs used by Valio for its popular Voimariini butter-margarine mix.