ST. PETERSBURG. Dec 2 (Interfax) - Finland's Valio began producing spreadable cheese in tubes in November 2014 at its plant in the village of Ershovo in Moscow region, Valio's press service said.
Production of this type of cheese is taking place at a new line whose capacity will total 4,000 tonnes per year. This will allow the plant's overall production capacity to grow to 10,000 tonnes of finished product per year.
Valio is also planning to begin producing Viola butter in Russia this year. The company did not say where this would occur, however.
The Galaktika group, which produces a number of Valio products at its facilities, told Interfax that it was not yet planning to produce butter under a contract with Valio.
"The Valio concern confirms the company's plans for development on the Russian market. [These plans] include expanding the assortment of products Valio produces in Russia. Valio's only own factory in Moscow region's village of Ershovo remains the main spot for investments," Valio's statement says.
The company is also still planning to develop partner projects that envision the production of Valio's products on a contractual basis.
Finland's Valio, founded in 1905, is owned by 18 dairy cooperatives and about 7,800 farmers. The company operates 15 plants in Finland, two in Estonia and one in Russia. Turnover in 2013 exceeded 2 billion euro.
LLC Valio, the Russian division of the company, was established in 1994 in St. Petersburg. It imports and promotes Valio products on the Russian market and produces certain brand-name products. The company has a plant in Moscow region with a logistics and distribution center, warehouse and a production line for Viola cheese spread and sliced cheese.
Valio said in October that it was launching production of milk and cream in Russia, but will not replace all the products that were previously sold on the Russian market. Production of ValioUHT milk and cream will take place at the Galktika dairy combine in Leningrad region on a contract basis. It will nearly triple Valio output at Galaktika, which currently produces Valio yogurts and kefir.
At the time, sales in Russia amounted to no more than 10% of the total before the embargo was imposed on August 7.
"The company is examining other opportunities for contract production. However, certain product types can currently can only be produced in Finland, notably lactose-free milk and dairy products," Valio said.
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