ALLIANCES: PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO AT THE FESTIVAL OF PROSECCO WINE

Reggio Emilia, 17 May 2007 - Alliances and synergies, especially for foreign markets, having the key target of protecting and highlighting the Italian food and wine heritage.
These are the reasons that led the Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Consortium to join the 10th Festival of D.P.O. Prosecco Wine "Vino in Villa 2007" in Conegliano Valdobbiadene. The 2007 edition dedicated to the topic “Authentic Italian” is organised by the Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Protection Consortium and it will be held at the San Salvatore castle in Susegana, in the province of Treviso, on 19 and 20 May.
It will be a great celebration dedicated to the Italian producers that have made their country famous worldwide: D.P.O. Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene, Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese and Parma ham. The liaising body will be Alma, the International School of Italian Cuisine in Colorno, in the province of Parma, run by Gualtiero Marchesi. The event will include a series of in-depth studies on food with tasting sessions, shows, meetings and symposia.
“In a food scenario where food runs the risk of becoming increasingly more levelled out and trivialised – declared Giuseppe Alai, President of the Consortium – our organisation is willing to highlight Parmigiano-Reggiano’s characteristics. This is the reason why, at the beginning of 2007, we launched the initiative of the colour code to identify the various maturation degrees of the product. In fact, it is fundamental for us that consumers are increasingly more aware of the different levels of maturation of cheese, because Parmigiano-Reggiano, which is made from raw milk without any additives, improves its organoleptic characteristics with time". The colour code must be used by dairies and companies for all packs placed on the market to identify the various degrees of maturation of cheese (orange for Parmigiano-Reggiano with more than 18 months of maturation, silver for more than 22 months, gold for more than 30 months). “Thanks to the presence of connoisseurs and qualified aficionados who are particularly careful and trained to perceive these characteristics, Vino in Villa – Alai added – will be a great opportunity to present cheese of different degrees of maturation for a vertical tasting, which will become a journey in the culture of Italy's most famous P.D.O. cheese”.
The conference entitled “Authentic Italian”, to be held in the morning of 19 May, will focus on the interesting topic of the international protection of products with designations of origin. “The protection of our products - declared Leo Bertozzi, Director of the Consortium - is a key objective both at an institutional and at a legal level. Owing to its fame, Parmigiano-Reggiano continuously suffers from usurpations of its name. This is unacceptable and this year will be decisive for us. Indeed, by the end of the year, the European Court of Justice will pass its judgement on the “Parmesan” case, for which the European Commission summoned the German state for having supported its dairy industry that violates PDO norms using the designation “Parmesan”, which is synonymous with “Parmigiano-Reggiano”. Since the way to go for the protection of products is long, all the products sharing the same concern and the competent authorities providing their support must join forces".