More profitable and responsible milk production by leveling seasonal variation


Valio invites You to ideate ways to tackle the seasonal variation in milk production. The goal is part of Valio's responsible and climate smart primary production development, which aims for carbon-neutral milk by 2035. About 3,700 dairy entrepreneurs own Valio Ltd. through regional cooperatives. Managing the seasonal variation in milk production starts from functional and profitable farm-level solutions that enable a transformation throughout the production chain. Valio is looking for concrete and effective ways to balance seasonality on farm level. Depending on the maturity of the idea, Valio offers Hackathon participants either the opportunity for business cooperation or the opportunity to start a joint project or pilot for testing the presented idea.

Join us to solve the challenge and develop new methods and solutions in co-operation with Valio’s experts and representatives of cooperatives! Send in your application by 22/10/2023 

What is it about? 

Valio's customers buy milk products evenly throughout the year. However, the amount of milk entering Valio’s production varies throughout the year. Equalizing this seasonal variation in milk production would make Valio's production planning more efficient. Constant production levels would enable leaner and more efficient operations in the entire production chain and would improve cost control. The capacity of production plants and collection transports could be kept in steady use, and capacity would not have to be planned based on the high seasonal peaks in milk production.

Valio's survey work and data analyzes show that it is possible to influence the variation at the farm level. Overall, the variation is greater on farm level than at the level of Valio's production plants because the peak production times vary between the farms. There are also great differences in the intensity of the seasonal variation between farms. It is known that the amount of milk production is affected by, among other things, feeding, the timing of calving and the frequency of calving, breed, and udder health.

There are examples where seasonal fluctuations have been successfully leveled out on individual farms, but in the larger picture, the seasonal variation has not yet been managed. So far, the pricing control introduced in the production contracts, training programs or, for example, switching to robotic milking have not had a significant effect on equalizing the seasonality, and the progress with set goals has been limited.

A steady production would be more economically profitable for the dairy farm. Based on the production contracts, it would be advantageous for the producer to produce milk as evenly as possible. Furthermore, with steady production, dairy farm entrepreneurs' income is consistent every month of the year. In addition, the farm's production facilities and milking capacity would be in more even use, and there would be lesser work peaks.

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Welcome to solve the challenge!

What is Valio looking for?

Valio is looking for concrete and effective ways to balance seasonality. These solutions need to be attractive on farm level. We welcome as participants startups, SMEs, research groups, student groups, input and equipment suppliers, consulting organizations, companies offering data analytics solutions, agricultural economists and dairy farmers.

Depending on the maturity of the idea, Valio offers Hackathon participants either the opportunity for business cooperation or the opportunity to start a joint project or pilot for testing the presented idea. Depending on the nature of the solution, Valio's group or Valio's cooperative/cooperatives may be directly involved in joint piloting and/or commercial cooperation.

Ideas are evaluated especially using the following criteria:

  • The effect of the solution on the seasonal variation of milk production and the equalization of production peaks
  • The overall economic impact of the solution at farm level
  • The solution's effect on Valio's resource management and production planning

What is Valio?

Valio, offering the taste of Nordic nature since 1905, is a brand leader in Finland and a major player in the international dairy ingredients market. 3 ,700 Finnish dairy farmers founded Valio in 1905 and they are still our owners. We pay out all the profits to the farmers through regional dairy co-operatives. This is our way of making sure that we have access to locally produced food whose origin we know.

Valio has net sales of EUR 1.8 billion and is Finland’s biggest food exporter. Our products are found in some 50 countries and account for 25% of Finland’s total food exports. We have subsidiaries in Sweden, the Baltics, USA, and China. Valio employs a total of 25,000 people at dairy farms and 4,000 professionals at Valio.

Valio’s ambitious climate programme consists of concrete actions to cut milk’s carbon footprint to zero by 2035. We have listed the actions, timelines, and targets by which the same amount of greenhouse gases generated in milk production are sequestered by 2035.
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Hackathon is open for all interested teams: companies, research institutes, educational organizations, students, and other actors. Your team can also consist of collaboration between several organizations. 

Hackathon call is international and the working language in events is English. Hackathon participation is for free. We will also offer compensation for travel expenses to international teams from the Baltic Sea Region (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania). 

Read more from: BioBoosters Hackathon Rules of Participation


Jury consists representatives of Valio Group supported by organizer’s representatives. 

Why should I participate?

As a finalist, you will have a chance to establish long-term business co-operation. Furthermore, you get to:

  • Establish co-operation and network with other companies and specialists with interest to the same field;
  • Establish international contacts and connections in the field of your interest;
  • Acid test your idea with direct feedback from a potential client and discover how to fit your solution idea to the need of the end-users; 
  • Develop the commercialization potential of your idea and discover new business opportunities with expert mentors’ support; and
  • Get international recognition and visibility for your team’s knowhow.


  • Publication of the Hackathon invitation 22/09/2023 at 12:30 - 14:30 EEST in a webinar: BioTalks: Viable and resilient dairy farming
  • Send in your application by 22/10/2023. The application includes your preliminary idea proposal and a short description of the expertise in your team. 
  • Selected teams are published by 26/10/2023.
  • Kick-off event to the ValioHackathon is organized online on 10/11/2023 at 10:00 - 12:00 EEST. In the Kick-off event, the participant teams will meet each other and the Valio representatives to hear more about the challenge and expectations of Valio. Teams will present their preliminary ideas and get feedback for further development. 
  • Hackathon will be organized on 27-28/11/2023 in Valio Main Office in Helsinki (Meijeritie 6). On 27/11, the program will start in the afternoon with mentoring for the participant teams and networking in the evening. On 28/11, there will be a pitching session for presentations on teams’ solution proposals to Valio. After Jury deliberation, winner(s) are announced. Online participation is possible if you are not able to travel onsite. 

Apply here:

Fill out the registration form

More information

Chief Specialist Annimari Lehtomäki, Bioeconomy Business Accelerator BioPaavo by JAMK:, tel. +358 50 464 2563
Development Manager, Sanna Nokka, Valio Ltd.:, tel. +358 40 167 6363 


BioPaavo by Jamk is a Bioeconomy Business Accelerator that aims to create new business and globally significant solutions to combat climate change in the international bioeconomy environment. BioPaavo's key tasks are to develop bioeconomy business and create sustainable business based on new innovations, utilizing new technologies and digitalization, developing abilities and know-how, and building business networks and ecosystems.  

In collaboration with

KasvuOpen Ltd. is a nationwide sparring programme for growth companies. KasvuOpen's sparring process has been applied from the Growth Runway method developed by Mr. Marko Seppä, Professor of growth business operations at the University of Jyväskylä, and his team.

Estonian University of Life Sciences and their Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences is renowned for high-level research and education in cattle health, wellbeing and productivity. University has for example a Dairy Research Farm that is maintained for research and teaching purposes, while it is also operated as a commercial dairy production unit. 

BioBoosters project network supports ValioHackathon via communication and marketing cooperation.  Network features 9 prominent bioeconomy innovation hubs around the Baltic Sea – from Finland, Sweden, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. BioBoosters project will organize 18 Hackathons to support the sustainability mission of the bioeconomy companies. BioBoosters project is co-funded via the Interreg BSR programme and the European Regional Development Fund.  

Read more about BioBoosters