Less cheese in 2013, but the focus remains on product plans

4.7 milIion available within days to dairies damaged by the earthquake

Reggio Emilia, Italy, 4 December 2012 - Although the amount of Parmigiano Reggiano available is expected to decrease in 2013 over 2012, the Consortium continues to focus on production planning.

As sanctioned by the approval of the so-called “Milk Package” and “Quality Package” by the European Parliament – stressed the President of the protection Consortium, Giuseppe Alai, during the Consortium’s General Meeting – this remains the main route towards steady growth in the sector as well as the real protection of revenues, which are closely linked to an actual balance between demand and supply as well as a stability in relations, also in terms of quantities, with the distribution sector and, moreover, the mitigation of those extreme price fluctuations which disorientate consumers and arise from quotation trends which are closely linked to seesawing production levels".

Meno formaggio nel 2013, ma resta il rigore sui piani produttivi

Alai is taking a firm position with the relaunch of productions plans and a renewal of their strategic value despite the current economic situation which is expected to lead to a slight decrease in the output available in 2013 compared to 2012. Despite end-of-year production levels reaching 3,330,000 wheels of cheese (99,000 more than 2011), the earthquake of 20 and 29 May reduced the availability of the 2012 output by 120,000 wheels (which were destroyed or melted and therefore not available for traditional consumption).  Concomitantly, an increase in exports (+7%, equal to 65,000 wheels), as well as the wheels taken by the Company I4S for promotions in foreign markets (80,000) will offset also the expected slight drop in internal consumption due to the economic crisis (forecast drop of 50,000 wheels) and will reduce overall availability to 3,100,000 wheels in 2012 compared to 3,231,000 wheels in 2011.

This situation – explained Alaiis exceptional and linked to an event that was dramatic in economic terms as well as tragic from a human point of view.  The Parmigiano Reggiano system has long been aware – as endorsed also by the EU - that accurate management of production flows is fundamental in meeting market trends as well as in protecting revenues, even more so when trends are consolidating towards a contraction in the public funding available for supporting producers during crises in the agrifood markets”. From this stems Alai’s invitation for the utmost thoroughness in the management of production and for cohesion between dairies which, together with the solidarity shown by millions of consumers, has led to renewed production also in the areas affected by the earthquakes.

In this regard, the Co-Director of the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium, Riccardo Deserti pointed out that, by December, the dairies affected by the earthquake will receive the first tranche of 4.7 million from the funds collected for them thanks to other cheese manufacturers in the area of production (8.6 million resolved by the General Meeting last July), to consumers, to the distribution chains and to the solidarity sales made by milk producers in the area of production (1 million and 152 Euro as at 3 December). This money will be made available to those dairies which are not covered by product insurance (within a limit of 20% of the damages incurred); the remainder of the funds received by the Comitato Caseifici Terremotati will be shared out once the public funds supporting damaged companies have been distributed and the insurance companies have set their compensation.

However, there remains some concern in the background due to the possible reduction in the stockpiles, to the Consortium’s commitments on investments of 5 million for exports and 7 million on the Italian market, as well as to an increase in consumption of imported imitation Grana cheeses which in 2012 increased by +5.8% to the detriment of the best Italian PDO products.