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.
Valio said Shanghai’s location, the capability of global resource allocation and the economic concentration of headquarters can help Valio build its global sales, marketing and service networks, and reinforce its overall competitiveness and influence both in the Chinese market and globally.
Annikka Hurme, CEO of Valio, said “In 2008 Valio created a dedicated office in Shanghai. Today we officially established our China head office. 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.”
Zhou Hai Ying, Deputy head of the People’s Government of Shanghai’s Jing’an District, said: “There is an old Chinese saying, ‘Eating is even more important than the Emperor’. With the increases in consumption, I am confident Valio products will become ever more popular among Chinese consumers.”
Finland’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä, said China is a very important market for Finnish companies.
“The strengths of the Finnish dairy sector include the high quality of products and the health and welfare of production animals. For example, our use of antibiotics is very minimal. The hygiene, safety and product traceability of the food chain are our competitive advantages,” Leppä said.
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’s DEMI demineralized whey powders entered the China market in 1990, and the company opened stores on e-commerce platforms, such as JD.com and Tmall.com.
Xiao Lu, managing director of Valio China, said, “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.
“Right now, China is undergoing a new round of consumption upgrading, and natural, healthy and environmentally sustainable foods are gaining popularity among consumers.”
Valio said it will also step up efforts to promote the development and application of its patented Eila lactose-free technology.