Case study 04-IT
This small company is run by a family of sheep breeders that transform their milk to produce sheep cheese.
The pastures are located in the mountains near Norcia, the diary is instead located in the hills near Spoleto.
The products of the company comprise fresh pecorino, first salt, seasoned 60 days, ricotta and whole yoghurt. All the products are obtained exclusively through sheep milk.
The sales are done both directly at the farm to individuals and to food stores in the area.
The owner is now interested in expanding both the production, with new products made from sheep’s milk and the company’s market through new sale channels.
All the facilities of the company are property of the family, inherited from the previous generation. the tasks necessary for the functioning of the company are carried out by members of the owner family (mother, wife and children), but the company also has a full-time seasonal external worker. The main products of the company are: yogurt, produced from raw whole curd milk, ricotta produced without the addition of protein coagulants and soft and hard pecorino. The company has a milk production capacity of 300 litres of milk per day.
The Multifunctional activities are quality, organic and traditional production and on-farm sales.
After COVID-19 crisis is difficult to give advices because in this moment the dairy sheep sector is in strong difficulty. The main challenge can be identified in the economic and financial investment necessary for process and products innovation that the company has faced.
Multifunctional farming activities related to dairy processing / Innovation related to products and/or processing
Andrea Pasqua started the innovative activity in 2017. His main multifunctional activity is the production of biological milk, meaning a milk coming from sheeps that are left to pasture for six months per year in the mountains. During this period, they eat spontaneous weeds that contain precious aromatic substances that than characterize the taste of the cheeses. The production is therefore of high quality and in the strict respect of tradition. In the future the owner intends to start taking tourists to do trekking and biking into the company’s pastures to show them where and how the milk is produced and transformed.
The owner has also innovated the production, adding to the previous products also:
– Yogurt made from raw milk to full curd;
– Ricotta made without the addition of protein coagulants.
Furthermore, the company wants to start organizing in the sale point some demonstrative activities that are meant to let the consumer have a first-hand experience of how the products are obtained.
So far, the company has chosen not to access European and National financing for its investments. All the external support/advice the company has received, has been about Management and Technical counselling.
The company’s marketing/distribution channels are:
– On-farm shop;
– Participation in fairs promoting local products.
The multifunctional activities have generated added value by allowing the company to expand its market and also by increasing the price of the products
The company diversified its activities by offering different products according to local demand, allowing both an expansion of the company’s market share and consequently an income increase. This has led to the creation of work opportunities for other family members, thus favouring generational renewal.
The main challenges have been carrying out a thorough market analysis and the investments to adapt the company correspondingly.
The company is involved in an association of producers belonging to “COLDIRETTI-CAMPAGNA AMICA”. This association favours and promotes, through promotional events (fairs, local markets ..), the meeting of demand and offer of local agri-food products, giving companies belonging to the network easier access to the market.
Future business plans in the medium and long term comprise a greater differentiation of the company’s offer within its market and a successive consolidation and maintenance of the market in order to have greater possibilities for business development and progress.
Training/Competences (Skills, Knowledge, Attitudes) especially relevant for the process
The owner has the title of agricultural expert and therefore has good knowledge of dairy processes and of the economic and financial basic principles useful in the assessment of investments in agriculture. It also has significant knowledge of the functioning and requests of the dairy market and of its related problems. This precious know-how, with its related skills and competences, has been essential in expanding and differentiating the company’s activity during the succession from the previous generation (actual owner’s father).
These competences can be identified in: knowing how to interpret and codify market information, knowing how to apply the skills and innovative knowledge of the dairy sector, knowing how to develop suitable business investments related to the multifunctional agriculture and rural development sector.
The entrepreneur is willing to learn how to better advertise its products both through marketing and product valorisation.