Once the plant becomes fully operational almost half of its production will be for the export market in Sweden and Denmark with plans to expand to other countries.
In the first phase, it will manufacture products that are familiar to Finnish consumers, such as the Valiojogurtti series but it has plans for products that are healthy and delicious with recipes to reduce sugar and to vary protein and fat content.
Annikka Hurme, CEO, Valio, said the plant combines Valio Riihimäki’s 50-year tradition of yogurt manufacturing with the most advanced technology.
The facility uses about 30% less energy per unit of production than the old factory in Riihimäki, it has a new type of refrigerated warehouse where products are cooled quickly, and it uses energy production from the existing heat production plant.
“Innovativeness, a wonderful taste, and responsible manufacturing practices are the things people expect from their snacks, and our new snack plant meets these needs,” said Hurme.
“The plant is a concrete example of how seriously we take our responsibilities, since many loss-reducing and natural resource-saving choices were made in its planning and construction.”
Construction of the snack plant began in 2014 and took about three years to complete. It has an annual production capacity of around 120 million kilos.
“The material flows in the plant are efficient, because manufacturing of the products is straightforward. There are no unnecessary intermediate steps,” said Jukka Partti, project manager, Valio.
“For this reason, the raw materials used in production, the packaging materials, and the finished products themselves flow seamlessly from one stage to another without excessive handling.”
Environmental friendliness and resource efficiency was central to the design of the plant, and is at the heart of all its operations.
More than three-quarters of the thermal energy used at Valio Riihimäki comes from renewable fuel.
Products are cooled by the free cooling method, so that in colder weather the low outside temperature is used to make the process more energy-efficient.
“We believe in the future of responsible dairy production and profitable milk processing,” added Vesa Kaunisto, chairman of the Board, Valio.
“This modern snack plant makes us even more competitive, both in Finland and on the export market.”