Finnish dairy firm Valio has announced that will merge two of its co-operatives into a new co-operative ready to launch on 1 September 2019.
Based in Lapinlahti, the new co-operative, a result of the merger of Osuuskunta ItaMaito and Osuuskunta Maitosuomi, will be known as Osuuskunta Maitosuomi and will be Valio’s largest single shareholder with a stake of 42.7%. It will also be Valio’s leading supplier of raw milk, providing around 900 million litres per year.
Commenting on the move, Osuuskunta Maitosuomi chairman Esa Kotala said: “The merger will enable us to enhance our operations and secure the future of services offered by the co-operative. Advisory and expert services will be more effective together and serve the entrepreneurs more efficiently. And a large unit promotes specialisation”.
In a statement, ItaMaito chairman Mikko Heikkinen added: “The new co-operative’s Lapinlahti domicile puts it close to the heart of the combined operating area, which extends from Ostrobothnia to North Karelia and from Kainuu to Central Finland. Lapinlahti’s current cheese and powder plants’ modern premises are ideal for the new co-operative’s personnel”.