ICRPS 2013: Coops, Mozzarella and Food Waste

by Kjersti Nordskog, 27/06/2013, on ICRPS day 7

A new day of the ICRPS Summer Institute, Italy, started bright and early as the bus left Bertinoro at 07:15 am. Students, faculty – and this alumna who still hadn’t left, boarded the bus and headed to Bologna and the Department of Agriculture.

Presenters were already waiting as we got there, and by one of the professors at the University of Bologna, we got a presentation on coops in Italy in general, and on one of the biggest coops, Granarolo, in particular. Granarolo is a big coop that produces milk, yoghurt and cheeses, and their HQ and production facility was the field trip target of the day. Representatives of two other coops were also there, and got to present their companies and how they work, along with what their philosophies are.

The Granarolo HQ is located close to the Department of Agriculture, and after a presention of the company and lots of questions (ICRPS participants are really great at asking good questions!) we got caps, coats and shoe cover and headed off to the production facilities. We got to see how the mozzarella cheese was produced, packed and shipped off to all over Italy. Granaralo’s marketshare for Mozzarella is 25 %.

Back at the Department of Agriculture waited one of the founders of the Last Minute Market, an initiative that started right at the Department and that focuses on raising awareness of food waste, and how to take betterĀ use of these resources, that otherwise would have been lost. Also,other coops have been started as a result of the Last Minute Market to help feed people who otherwise would have had to struggle to make ends meet. I found it really inspiring to hear how awareness and organization can make good use of products who are otherwise just discarded.

At this point my ICRPS alumni conference had come to an end – one day after the alumni conference was really over. Thanks to the organizers for a great conference, and for letting me tag along one more day.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your Summer Institute, we look forward to read more about your experiences here on the blog.

Under: The main supplier of raw material for Italy’s Granarolo, as depicted in the HQ facilities. Photo by Kjersti Nordskog