Valle de San Juan is a family business in the agri-food sector, founded by Juan Manuel Rodríguez in 1998 and dedicated to the manufacture of raw milk cheeses and other dairy products.
At the beginning of the 90s in a small hamlet located in the plain of Palencia (Villarrabé), cradle of the milk of Castile and Leon and with hardly any experience, the dream of Juan Manuel Rodríguez and his son Sergio Rodríguez was born, to produce raw milk sheep’s cheeses, which evoke the rough and powerful character in the mouth of a good Castilian cheese, highly appreciated in the area of Andalusia where most of the production was sold.
Nowadays, Valle de San Juan is one of the ten most important companies in the cheese sector in Spain.
The family of Valle de San Juan has more than 120 people capable of handling an annual production volume of more than 6 million kilos of cheese between pure sheep’s cheese and mixed cheese, being present throughout the country, always maintaining and preserving the high quality and love for cheese, still using the most traditional forms in its production.
Our day to day is closely linked to the philosophy of a family business, based on the culture of effort, discipline, tradition and responsibility, values that we understand as a way of life.
Special report “Sustainable Palencia”
In order to respond to today’s major challenges, we have developed a Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all Member States in 2015 as a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
The 17 SDGs are integrated, recognising that interventions in one area will affect outcomes in others and that development must balance environmental, economic and social sustainability.
The entire team at Valle de San Juan performs its tasks taking into account the guidelines of good handling and hygiene practices, with special attention to compliance with food quality and safety standards.
We are aware of our impact on the environment (air, water and soil) and we are committed to the environment, which is why our environmental management is aimed at reducing and controlling these impacts, with the objective of achieving a sustainable activity.
Valle de San Juan’s commitment to the environment is absolute, not only because of the great respect we have for nature (the basis of the products we produce) but also because we consider that caring for our ecosystem is an obligation that we must all assume as our own. Our main strategies for the care of our environment are the efficient management of resources and the reduction of our environmental impact.
At Valle de San Juan we have focused on 6 Goals:
SDG Goal 3, Health and Wellbeing.
In 2020 we have launched a new programme: “Vallesalud”. The aim of this initiative is to take care of the people who make up the Valle de San Juan team, through actions that promote a healthy lifestyle, wellbeing and care for the whole team We have started this programme with the detection and prevention of illnesses, including some related to cancer.
SDG 4, Quality education
Our recruitment policies include professional development and opportunities for our team.
VSJ is committed to the training of its people. Both in our facilities in Palencia and in Villarrabé, we carry out monthly training activities in both face-to-face and online modalities, being the face-to-face the most important ones in the company.
We collaborate with different Vocational Training and University centres, both in Palencia and the rest of Castilla y León, in order to help the training and integration into the world of work of students of different educational levels.
Goal 5 SDG, Gender Equality
At VSJ we are committed to equality in recruitment, training, wage policy, employment and health and work-life balance.
By February 2021 we will have all measures included in an “Equality Plan”, which guarantees the full and effective participation of women and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.
Currently, 40% of our workforce is made up of women. The percentage of women in top management positions in the company is also 40%.
Goal 6 SDG, Clean water and sanitation
By 2020 VSJ has installed a well for its own water supply and a WWTP (Waste Water Treatment Plant) with a daily discharge treatment capacity of 300 m3, complying with the SDGs.
VSJ invests in sustainable technologies, we are in a sector of high water consumption, water stress is a reality and we must make a responsible consumption, therefore in VSJ we are working to reduce and reuse water, through available technologies and always ensuring the quality of our products.
We have reduced the ratio liters of water consumption by 20% compared to the previous year.
Goal 7 SDG, Affordable and non-polluting energy.
A photovoltaic self-consumption system has been installed using solar panels to optimise electricity consumption at the Palencia plant and is being considered for installation at Villarrabe in 2021. With this installation of solar panels, we have managed to reduce the cost of electricity consumption.
Also, in both plants, obsolete lighting has been replaced with LED technology.
At VSJ we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint by installing electricity self-consumption systems. We are working to ensure that most of the energy consumed is green.
Goal 8 SDG, Decent Work and Economic Growth
VSJ is committed to job creation in rural areas, as evidenced by the fact that 60% of the VSJ team lives in rural areas. We also invest in and support livestock farming areas, the source of our most precious commodity, milk.
VSJ offers the opportunity to access productive employment that generates a fair income, professional development and stability. The 83% of our team is permanent.
VSJ is committed to diversity and the integration of people from other countries, as we have people of up to 8 nationalities, which represents 10% of the workforce.