FINLAND – Finnish dairy cooperative Valio has secured €10 million (US$10.8 million) in government funding from Business Finland for its ambitious research, development, and innovation project, named Food 2.0.

The initiative aims to revolutionize the Finnish food system, focusing on sustainable production to drive growth and added value. Valio’s Food 2.0 project is set to commence this year and will span a total of five years.

According to a statement, Valio and its partner network plan to reform the food system by involving all relevant stakeholders, as the cooperative believes that collaborative efforts are crucial for successful change.

Tuomas Salusjärvi, Director of Valio’s Growth Operations, Research, and Product Development, emphasized the global shift in food production as an opportunity for Finnish production.

By pioneering sustainable food production, Valio aims to enhance the value of food produced in Finland, improve profitability, and boost international competitiveness.

The project aims to involve at least one hundred partners in the network. Valio and its collaborators aspire to attract a total of €100 million in additional investment for research and development activities in Finland over five years.

Furthermore, they seek to increase exports linked to the food system by more than €1 billion in the post-project years.

Valio’s Food 2.0 project aligns with global trends toward sustainable and responsible food production. With the support of Business Finland, the project signifies a significant step in reforming the food industry.

Valio’s initiative is distinctive in that it marks the first time Business Finland has selected a leading company in the food industry for such a prominent role.

Nina Kopola, CEO of Business Finland, expressed the organization’s commitment to contributing to the transformation of the food system.

She highlighted how all services provided by Business Finland align with the goals set by the Food 2.0 project, underscoring the importance of collaborative efforts in achieving meaningful change.

This funding announcement comes amid recent restructuring within Valio, where approximately 130 employees are expected to lose their jobs.

Despite this, the cooperative has been actively investing in its operations. In December, Valio announced a €10 million investment for the renovation of a cold storage area at one of its factories in Finland.

This investment aims to enhance production efficiency and align with the cooperative’s commitment to sustainability.

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