Developing small-scale dairies in Italy

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Milk

Expocasearia was held in Italy last month in Cremona, and one company present put the spotlight firmly on the growing importance – and number – of small scale dairies.

The annual event combines agriculture and the dairy industry, with live animals, demonstrations, equipment, a large trade show, seminars, workshops and presentations on many aspects of the industry.

The event, which attracts visitors from around the world, included a ‘milk village,’ an area dedicated to workshops and practical demonstrations on the dairy production chain, including on the topic of dairy technology.

Dairy in Italy has some big players, including Parmalat and Granarolo, and is renowned for cheeses such as Gorgonzola, ricotta and Parmesan, but the country is also now home to more than 4,000 small-scale dairies.

Small scale equipment

The growing trend represents a valid business proposition in the country, as it requires a reasonably small investment. The event organizers noted that investing in a small-scale dairy for processing about 300 liters of milk and a small retail outlet can cost as little as €35,000, or as little as $15,000 without a retail outlet.

Many suppliers of small-scale equipment were on hand for those interested, including FDstore Group, which sells equipment for milk, cheese, and ice cream production, as well as developing La Mukkeria frozen yogurt/gelato stores in Italy in collaboration with Accademia Italiana del Latte, the Italian Milk Academy.

The Academy is one of the six components of the FDstore Group, which also includes packaging and printing options, and ingredient sales.

Director and teacher Mirko Galliani told DairyReporter through FDstore Group’s different divisions, they can assist small producers with all of their needs, from training through to products.

“We can personalize packaging in the small sector with the brands of the company,”​ Galliani said.

“We can support the customer with what he needs to start up. We can provide ingredients, packaging, support.”

Academy courses

The support comes through the Academy, which runs courses throughout Italy, designed to help smaller companies and farmers develop their businesses.

The Academy holds basic, advanced and specialized courses that vary in duration and complexity, and are aimed at helping businesses from start-ups to established enterprises.  As well as courses on the production of various ice creams, cheeses and dairy beverages, the institution also holds courses on packaging, regulations and labeling.

Courses are also available on a tailor-made basis for companies with specific issues.

Galliani said the Academy works with all levels of the milk industry, from people who want to produce their own products, to farmers wanting to do more than simply sell their milk, right through to bigger companies.

“We can develop products the customer wants to produce. We work with small companies, with middle companies and big companies too. For us, milk is milk!”

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