Parmigiano Reggiano: recovery of damaged wheels completed

Alai: "After the first emergency phase linked to the earthquake, now all efforts will be aimed at rebuilding and relaunching dairies and farms in difficulty"

Reggio Emilia, 8 August 2012 - The eighth of August marks a turning point for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in the story of the earthquake. Today, the maturing room of the Razionale Novese dairy in Novi (Modena) will see the conclusion of the operations to retrieve the wheels fallen during the violent shock of 29 May, the second one of a disruptive earthquake that heavily involved the Parmigiano Reggiano sector.  Overall, the earthquake hit 19 cheese maturation facilities causing damage to 37 dairies and over 600 dairy farms. In terms of quantity of product, almost 20% of the production sector was affected with around 600,000 wheels fallen to the ground.

"Today we can finally say that "step 1" ends"- said Giuseppe Alai, President of the Consortium -  the most dramatic phase of the emergency.  From tomorrow morning no Parmigiano Reggiano cheese maker will wake up and see the work of two years piled up on the ground and damaged".

More specifically, all the damaged product which, in accordance with the provisions of the health authorities, could not continue the maturation process has been assigned to suitable uses or disposed of as waste. Thanks to the financial aid approved by the General Meeting of the Consortium held on 24 July, a large part of it will be melted.

"From tomorrow we can focus on Step 2" continued President Alai "that of the reconstruction of damaged facilities, and the full restoration of the economic conditions of our dairies burdened with huge damage, now estimated to be higher than 100 to 110 million euros.  To give concrete answers to businesses that are essential to our area, we are now expecting tangible actions from the Regional and Central Governments, starting with the enforcement of the earthquake decree".

The will not to surrender to fate marked the reaction of the dairies affected from the very beginning.  The majority has never ceased daily production, and only 5 stopped producing cheese, of which 4 for a few days and only 1 permanently. At the same time, thanks to the immediate attention paid by many Parmigiano Reggiano aficionados, several dairies found in the direct contact with consumers help to "start anew". This is what the Razionale Novese dairy has done: being the last one to complete clearing operations, but the first one in terms of damage suffered (over 75,000 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano fallen), it has recently reopened its store for selling its cheese retail and on-line. A symbol of the area that does not bend and is ready to go.