True to its mission, the organisation also provides various services to its members. Offering its guidance and active cooperation, the Consortium constantly strives to improve the quality of Grana Padano and preserve its distinctive features.
Quality, first and foremostThe great cultural, historical, socio-economical heritage Grana Padano came to represent deserved to be recognised, supported and protected. That is why we are here. That’s how Grana Padano can be Grana Padano.
Feeding of the cowsThe Consortium verifies compliance with the rules for feeding cattle
The feeding of the cows whose milk is turned into Grana Padano is crucial. The Consortium makes sure that the feeding complies with the rules, laid down in the Product Specifications, which describe in great detail the kind of forage that can, or cannot be used. Currently, in addition to the permanent meadows used in some areas of the Mantua region, the use of temporary meadows has also been spreading. It is grown in rotation with other crops such as alfalfa, regarded as the queen of forage crops Throughout the years, summer and autumn catch meadows have also been added. And maize (corn) has become the par excellence forage crop in the Po River. Finally, more and more farmers opt for unifeed, a single forage mix - always the same – whose components must comply with the rules established by the Product Specifications.
BarnsBarns must be checked and certified
Farmers must guarantee that their milk is of the highest quality, for it to be transformed into Grana Padano. Each farmer has to submit a self-certification to the dairy where the production will take place.
With this self-certification, the farmer will vouch for:
- The number of owned dairy cows.The total, yearly and per head milk production.
- The effective exclusion of banned forages.
- Compliance with sanitary regulations.
The milk storage proceedings, including the temperature.
Obviously, every farmer must work in the Grana Padano production area (as identified by the Product Specifications).
InspectionsThe Consortium helps its members perform their own inspections to make sure that the Product Specifications requirements are fully met.
In collaboration with qualified testing laboratories, the Consortium also regularly tests the dairies. Such tests concern the raw materials, every step of the production process and the production premises.
The milk samples tests are done:
- monthly, for the milk already being directly processed in the cauldrons
- bimonthly, for the milk just arrived in the dairy or being skimmed.
The testing of these samples is essential to detect possible faults in the milk and it is crucial for a correct milk processing. All the steps of milk processing and the facilities must strictly comply with the Product Specifications requirements. After every test passed, a certification is issued, which will be added to the dossier required for the PDO mark fire-branding on the wheels.