Grundtvig producers at Cheese, let?s start the adventure!

Bra, 21-24 September 2013

The ninth edition of Cheese (, the international biennial event organized by the City of Bra and Slow Food with the participation of the Italian Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, was held in Bra from September 20 to 23, 2013.

In the Bra?s historic center the cheese producers involved in the Grundtvig project  found the market, thematic spaces like the Literary Café and the Biodiversity House and other entertainment and education activities.

They could taste, exchange practices, discover new forms of working and selling cheese. Some activities were proposed them like workshop and technical training and a special visit to cheese producers.

In Friday they participate to the workshop ?Who cares about animal welfare??, an appointment to reflect about consequences of consumers eating lifestyles on animals. Meat consumption continues to rise and this demand can only be met by intensive production that results in confinement at high density, animal feed that is ever more artificial, enormous amounts of antibiotics and growth hormones, and deforestation. How can we raise animals and consume them in a way that is compatible with the environment and that respects animal welfare?

In Saturday they had a technical training about transparency in labeling system. Slow Food promotes a new labeling system, which can represent a small but important revolution in the world of communication about food products: the narrative label. Beyond the indications that are required by law, the narrative label provides information about the producers, the farms, the vegetable varieties or animal breeds used, the production techniques, animal wellbeing, and the place of origin.

They could also discover important notion about raw and pasteurized milk. There are those that claim that raw milk is better, and those that won?t drink it unless it is pasteurized. But when we choose our milk, what do we know about how it was produced? Milk quality depends on the conditions livestock are raised in, and this influences the flavor, the nutritive value, and the presence of vitamins, digestive enzymes, good fats, etc. To get away from the dichotomy of raw or pasteurized, all it takes is for the consumer to make more prudent choices based on this information.

The firs exchange finished with a visit to the Roccaverano Robiola (link: and the Langhe Sheep Tuma Presidia (link: The producers visited the places of production of cheeses, assisted in the preparation and tasted the products. Goal of the experience was to gain new skills related to the production techniques.

It was an enriching experience that has opened with enthusiasm the path of growth of people involved in this training opportunity.