The funding is for research, development and innovation related to the nutrition, functionality and health impacts of dairy products.
Also, the funding covers work on ensuring better food security through innovative solutions for more efficient food production.
The research and development activities will be carried out at Valio’s existing facilities in Helsinki.
Valio’s investment program focuses on research activities in the fields of dairy chemistry and technology, nutritional expertise, product development and consumer preferences.
EIB vice-president Ambroise Fayolle, said supporting research, development and innovation with a substantial health impact is a key priority for the EIB.
“By enhancing Europe’s position as a major technology supplier and supporting skilled employment opportunities, this project is strengthening Europe’s global competitiveness in an area that makes a real difference in people’s daily lives,” Fayolle said.
Tuomas Salusjärvi, Valio’s executive vice president in charge of product groups and R&D, pointed to the development of ValSa milk salt from the minerals in milk, which can be used to reduce the amount of regular salt in products.
He said ValSa has export potential and can be used in products other than milk. Salusjärvi also noted Valio is a “global pioneer” in the development of lactose-free dairy products.
“In our new snack factory that will be completed this year, we will be able to manufacture products with the same good taste and even less sugar than before without the use of sweeteners,” Salusjärvi said.
European Commission vice-president, Jyrki Katainen, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, said the loan and program would create new jobs.
This is the EIB’s first loan to Valio, and the bank said the financing will help Valio to diversify its funding base and extend its maturity profile.