FINLAND – Valio, a Finnish dairy cooperative, has announced the commencement of change negotiations impacting various aspects of its operations, including headquarters functions, technical services, maintenance, and factory services.

Approximately 1,170 employees are within the scope of these negotiations, which are expected to last for six weeks.

The discussions during the change negotiations will address potential dismissals and significant alterations to employment terms and conditions, encompassing changes to job descriptions and duties.

The potential workforce reductions are estimated to affect up to 130 individuals, with planned alterations to employment terms and conditions potentially impacting an additional 135 employees.

Valio, which currently employs around 4,300 individuals, with 3,700 based in Finland, cited production and economic factors as the driving forces behind these necessary operational changes.

The challenging global economic environment, including increased operating expenses, declining consumer product demand, and a decrease in global prices of industrial products, has exerted significant pressure on Valio’s profitability.

Marianne Tammela, Executive Vice President of the People, Strategy, and Innovations function at Valio, acknowledged the challenging operating environment and the factors necessitating the change negotiations.

“The operating environment has been very challenging for us for a long time. There are several factors behind the change negotiations: the increase in Valio’s operating expenses, weakening demand for consumer products, and a fall in global prices of industrial products,” he emphasized.

“All of these factors have challenged our profitability. Unfortunately, for these reasons, we are forced to initiate change negotiations.”

Valio, a cooperative owned by approximately 3,400 dairy farms, distributes its operating profits to these farmers.

The company’s mission is to support the vitality of its owners, the dairy farms, and ensure the continuity of Finnish food production, contributing to job creation and economic growth throughout Finland.

Notably, Valio is a significant player in the dairy industry and produces cheese, yoghurt, butter, milk, and protein-based desserts under its namesake brand.

The cooperative also owns a majority share in the Oddlygood plant-based business. Generating net sales of €1.8 billion annually, Valio holds subsidiaries in Sweden, the Baltics, the US, and China, accounting for a quarter of Finland’s food exports.

As the cooperative navigates economic challenges, the negotiations signal a proactive approach to restructuring aimed at securing the vitality of its owners and ensuring the continuity of Finnish food production.

 

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