Services offered by Consorzio Tutela Provolone Valpadana
The task of the Consorzio Tutela Provolone Valpadana is to provide services that are designed to protect, monitor and improve the production and marketing of Provolone Valpadana PDO. It provides its services to members and private companies, public entities and private organisations that request it.
In particular, the services provided by the Consortium include:
- Assistance to members: technical, legal and organisational;
- Supervisory activities in relation to: issuing authorisations for prepackaging and its use as an ingredient, technical/operational support in packaging and distribution operations to charitable organisations and product compliance verification in the stores;
- Research and development;
- The organisation of training activities for members;
- Promotion of Provolone Valpadana PDO cheese;
- Branding of Provolone Valpadana PDO.
The Consorzio Tutela Provolone Valpadana has identified and described, in specific Management Manuals, the variables that should be monitored, checked and verified to ensure that the provided services meet specifications. The provided specifications for the various services have been defined and approved by the Board of Directors.
The Consortium provides assistance on issues related to the production and marketing of Provolone Valpadana: in particular, its collaboration is developed in terms of:
- technical assistance;
- legal assistance.
All requests for assistance are registered in specific documentation; are brought to the attention of the various managers, depending on the type of assistance required, and are brought to resolution.
The Consortium undertakes, upon specific request, checks at the facilities of Provolone Valpadana manufacturers to ensure the processes and product conforms with the requirements of the Provolone Valpadana PDO cheese Regulations.
Control activities include:
- checking the production process at member dairies facilities.
- tests carried out on the finished product. This activity involves taking a sample and forwarding it to the laboratory for analysis as necessary.
The supervisory activities carried out by the Consortium are as follows:
- authorisation for the prepackaging of Provolone Valpadana PDO and its use as an ingredient in food products;
- operational/technical support for the packaging and distribution of Provolone Valpadana PDO to charitable organisations;
- verification of product compliance in stores. The latter is also carried out on the behalf of other Consortia.
Research and Development
The Consortium carries out Research and Development projects
With this goal, it: identifies and records the basic requirements:
- proposals, requirements for Provolone Valpadana PDO manufacturers and/or legislative requirements;
- identifies and lists the different stages and/or design activities to be carried out and establishes responsibility for their enforcement;
- assigns appropriate resources for both the design and execution of research and development projects as a whole;
- determines the team and how it should interact in the design process;
- defines the methods and tools to be used to document the design process in the different phases and/or activities;
- identifies ways to implement and monitor the implementation of the research and development projects;
- identifies those responsible, the time and tools needed to review, verify and validate the results of the design.
Some projects developed by the Consortium:
- development of a system designed to control the development of surface mould;
- the qualitative characteristics of rennet and its organoleptic influence on Provolone Valpadana PDO;
- the abandonment of the preservative E239;
- Provolone Valpadana PDO experimental cheese making at the pilot dairy;
- survey on the characterisation of Lombard PDO and PGI products with the goal of enhancing the suitability and uniqueness of the products with analytical determinations and sensory analysis;
- enhancement and characterisation of Provolone Valpadana through innovative technological systems to detect a molecular characterisation method;
- creation of a “good practice manual for the production and sale of Provolone Valpadana PDO”
Organising training workshops for members
The Consorzio Tutela Provolone Valpadana through:
- its protection activities;
- regular contact with producers;
- problems highlighted by its assistance activities;
external reports, gathering the training needs of its Clients.
Following this, training topics are hypothesised, and where necessary, the design and execution of the programmed training activities are delegated to external bodies.
The Consortium promotes Provolone Valpadana PDO through print, television, radio, cinema and trade fairs in order to valorise its image and inform consumers about its quality.
Over the years, studies have been carried out on the market, product repositioning, innovative consumption presentation and on finding new markets.
The Consortium provides a service to valorise Provolone Valpadana PDO.
The producers of Provolone Valpadana PDO piccante may ask the consortium, from the eighth month of ripening, for the “PVS” brand, which stands for “Provolone Valpadana Stagionato”.
To be able to have this brand, the cheese must pass a selection exam that looks at the external appearance of the forms, the structure of the paste, the colour and the organoleptic test.
After showing evidence of the requirements, qualification is given to forms without external and internal defects, with the application of the “P.V.S.” stamp and assignment of “Attestazione Provolone Valpadana Stagionato”.