Consorzio Cooperativo Produttori Latte s.c.a.
Dairy Number: BG506
Via Sante Giulie, 50
24050 - Torre Pallavicina (BG)
tel. 0363 996523 - fax 0363 996768
At the Torre Pallavicina dairy we are greeted by one of its key figures, Luigi, who introduces us to Director Robert Roncali.
He immediately makes us feel at home, and tells us that the BG506 dairy was founded in 1936 and moved to its new premises in the mid-fifties.
It started out by making Provolone cheese, but for the last 15 years it has also been producing Grana Padano.
14 people work in the dairy, they all share a great passion and the many sacrifices it involves.
The head cheesemaker Mauro Bergamaschi is a man of few words, but his eyes and hands always express deep concentration, great know-how and the drive to make a good cheese, fit to be fire-branded with the Grana Padano symbol.
He works 5 days in a row, then has a rest. There are no such things as Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays for him or for his fellow cheesemakers.
Mauro starts work at 3.30 a.m. and doesn’t leave the dairy until 2 p.m.
He could get to work a little later and have some help with the preparations before the actual cheesemaking, but he is keen to do it all himself. He tells us that, after 35 years of marriage, his wife has finally accepted the fact that those cheese wheels are his babies, so to speak, and she doesn’t get upset any more, but it is a lot to ask for the whole family.
He was thoroughly delighted when his son decided to follow in his footsteps and started working in the same cheese factory.
Robert tells us that his phone is always switched on, so that cheesemakers and dairy farmers can contact him at any time of day or night, and he can help them resolve any unexpected issues at all times.
He also tells us that he strives to create a growing synergy between those who produce the milk and those who process it: “It is important in order to obtain a superior quality product.”
That is why he organizes meetings, including with university professors, to get advice of how to produce and store fodder on the farms and instructions on good hygiene practices for the welfare of the livestock, because if the cow is well she will produce good milk.
The cheese factory also conducted an animal welfare assessment, designed by the zoo-prophylactic institute in Brescia, of its milk suppliers, which confirmed that all farms comply with the required standards.
Such is the dedication of everyone here, that they also organize guided visits for schools from primary through to secondary level. Anyone wishing to see how Grana Padano is produced, can also book a visit in advance.
Our thanks, then, to Torre Pallavicina dairy for their time and the passion they have conveyed to us.