Grana Padano cheese is still the best selling PDO product in the world. Production in 2018 is around 5 million wheels and exports have reached almost 2 million wheels, equal to 40.5% of total production. These figures were presented during the Grana Padano Consortium’s general assembly on 20 September. “Compliance with the production plan to date has brought about a good balance between production and market demand (which grew by 6.4% in Italy and 7.7% abroad, from January to July 2018 ) – says Nicola Cesare Baldrighi, President of the Grana Padano Consortium –. We approved a new production plan, for 2019-2021, that will reward quality. We have well understood that governing the production on the basis of market trends is essential to avoid devastating effects: all the more so after the end of the EU milk quota system”.
FIGURES AND QUALITY
The assembly was attended by all representatives of the Consortium’s member dairies, as well as those of the agricultural organizations. “In 2009 – Baldrighi added – production reached 4,227,920 cheese wheels. After almost ten years, we estimate that we will reach around 5 million wheels, well over 770,000 more. The average price of the milk used to make Grana Padano has granted significantly higher profits to cooperatives, compared to that of other dairy products. The new production plan will grant greater rewards to companies making high-quality products. Moreover, it will grant a higher percentage of production quota to those who respect higher standards of quality”.
INNOVATIONS IN THE SPECIFICATION OF GRANA PADANO
Baldrighi presented some new criteria in the technical evaluation of cheese, that are “based on organoleptic indicators that will complete the process. Experts from the Consortium will prepare an analysis of these parameters. Then it will be validated by the Zooprophylactic Institute. The goal is to guarantee the consumer, in an even stricter way, the absolute high-quality of our cheese”. Innovations will also concern the production regulations, which are increasingly respectful of animal welfare and environment. “We have decided to change some commitments – points out Baldrighi. For example the feeding of cattle, and the introduction of an annual evaluation of all farms with the possibility to obtain the certification claim ‘Animal welfare in breeding’ on Grana Padano PDO”.