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You are here: Home >news >Valio invests €60M in Lapinlahti cheese manufacturing plant to boost Finland’s production

Valio invests €60M in Lapinlahti cheese manufacturing plant to boost Finland’s production

2024-05-31 Food Ingredients First

Tag: Cheese Manufacturing


Valio plans to invest €60 million (US$64.8 million) to secure the continuity of cheese production at the company’s Lapinlahti plant in Finland. Existing facilities will be expanded, equipment will be upgraded with construction work beginning this summer. The new production line is expected to open in early 2026.

Packaging operations and equipment will also be renewed. In addition, the investment includes a new power substation and back-up power.

Finnish milk production
Lapinlahti, one of Valio’s most significant locations, is in the heart of Finnish milk production and receives about a quarter of Valio’s raw milk, which is 415 million liters annually.

Lapinlahti produces ripened cheeses for everyday use and gourmet occasions. Its cheeses are made for the domestic market and exported to Central Europe and the US.

The plant produces milk powder, demineralized whey powder and added-value powders such as lactose-free milk powders and baby food. Most milk powder products are exported.

“The Kuopio region is the most important milk production region in Finland and Eastern Finland is a significant area for food production in general.The region is a significant contributor for the security of food supply and food exports in Finland as a whole,” says Aleksi Ylitalo, director of the Lapinlahti plant.

“With this significant investment, we secure the continuity of cheese production for a long time to come. In practice, this means that, for example, our popular gourmet cheese, Valio Keisarinna, everyday favorite Valio Hyvä Suomalainen Arki and dozens of other cheeses will continue to be found on store shelves.”

“The investment will also reduce the waste generated in production and boost the cheese-making capacity of the Lapinlahti plant.”

In 2022, the plant underwent a major energy renovation, which enabled the recovery of the heat from the plant’s flue gasses. This reduced the plant’s energy consumption by more than 10% and greenhouse gas emissions by about 10,000 CO2 metric tons per year.

Cheese consumption
Finnish cheese consumption has remained stable over the past decade, with the country’s population eating an average of 25.5 kg per person annually.

“Cheese is an easy way to add flavor and nutrition in snacks and main courses. When it comes to our palates, we Finns are thought to like mild flavors, but especially for festive occasions and in food preparation, we also choose products with a deeper palette of flavors,” says Annamari Lammi, Valio’s SVP of Fresh Products, Cheese and Fats.


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