“In the year 1946, on this day the 31st of January, in Vidalenzo di Polesine Parmense, in a ground floor room used as a dairy …” … so begins the deed that, in the first months of the post-war reconstruction, marks the founding of the Latteria Sociale (Dairy Cooperative) by twenty-six owners and tenants of small farms in the area.
It was one of the first cooperatives to emerge after the war. A year later, since so many members were from the Piacenza area, the Dairy Company moved into the town of Villanova d’Arda, changing its name to Latteria Sociale Stallone (Stallone Dairy Cooperative), after the town in which it is located. The company’s mission is “the utilisation of the milk produced by the shareholders and the sale of dairy products with the resulting profits being divided among the members on the basis of the amount of milk supplied”.
And so, in a large red brick building a few hundred metres from the mighty River Po, began the story of a company that, from the 9,000 quintals of milk per year that were supplied in the 40s and 50s, today processes 95,000 quintals of milk every year, yielding about 85/90 wheels of Grana Padano PDO per day.
There have been a number of significant business milestones:
- In the sixties, the consortium reaches the ceiling of 80 members supplying 30,000 quintals of milk.
- In the seventies, agriculture undergoes a major transformation, with a drastic reduction in the number of workers due to the migration from the countryside to the cities; rural areas were either being partly abandoned or passing into the hands of large landowner farmers. The cooperative experiences a decline in member numbers, although this was offset by an increase in milk delivered, amounting to 65,000 quintals, thanks to the introduction of new technology.
- • In 1983, the Latteria Sociale gives the go-ahead to the construction of a new plant, which is still in operation today, focussed on research and experimentation in order to obtain a natural, high quality product: Grana Padano cheese, recognized in 1954 as Designation of Origin and, in 1996, as Protected Designation of Origin.
- In 1991, a fire completely destroys the aging warehouses destroying 20,000 wheels of Grana that were being stored there.
The accident, however, strengthens the bond between the partners and the company and reinforces the value of the cooperation that, in a short time, leads to a recovery that has now made the Latteria Sociale Stallone one of the largest companies in the production of Grana Padano PDO in the province of Piacenza.
Today, the Latteria Sociale Stallone is made up of 13 members.