DalterFood Group pioneers digital tech for traceability and animal welfare

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

New approaches to the Parmigiano Reggiano supply chain / GettyImages-Fudio
New approaches to the Parmigiano Reggiano supply chain / GettyImages-Fudio

Related tags Animal welfare Transparency digital traceability

Italian Parmigiano Reggiano maker DalterFood Group says the traceability delivered through its digital milk collection system and its recent certification for animal welfare standards demonstrate the ‘distinctive way’ it is approaching supply chain investment.

DelterFood Group has rolled out two innovations that reflect its ‘increasingly strict’ approach to managing the supply chain for its PDO Parmigiano Reggiano production.

The Italian dairy company has secured animal welfare certification across the supply chain for dairy farmers providing milk to its Canossa and Aigarello cheese facilities. It has also introduced digitised milk collection through Milk Trace, an app developed on the Android OS platform.

These developments, chief executive Alberto Viappiani suggested, leave the speciality cheese maker well placed to meet elevated consumer expectations around transparency.

Animal welfare certification an ‘important recognition’

DalterFood has been awarded voluntary supply chain certification for animal welfare, following the protocol created by the CReNBA, the Italian National Reference Centre for Animal Welfare.

Because there is no European animal welfare standard, DalterFiid said the assessment guidance for dairy cattle welfare produced by the CReNBA set the requirements for high animal welfare production in Italy.

Certification proves the milk DalterFood sources comes from dairy farms that comply with CReNBA animal welfare standards. To receive this award, selected farms had to pass an exam covering four ‘macro-areas’ of their business: company and staff management; facilities and equipment; animal living conditions; and biosafety.

The comprehensive nature of this certification isn’t restricted to the milk collection stage – it involves each link in the production chain from the 40 livestock farms that supply DalterFood, to the two cheese factories where it is processed, the maturing rooms where this Emilian cheese is matured, to cutting, portioning and packaging at the Sant’Ilario d’Enza factory, right up to the end product storage warehouses where it waits to be shipped out to Italy and around the world.

“Animal welfare certification is an important recognition,”​ said Viappiani. “It adds value to our farmers’ work, without whom we would have never been able to achieve this result. At the same time, this certification also rewards the hard work which our group has put into the supply chain, investing in cheese factories and human resources, with a truly unique approach in the PDO Parmigiano Reggiano sector.”

‘Revolutionising’ the Parmigiano Reggiano supply chain

DalterFood said that the new animal welfare certification for its PDO Parmigiano Reggiano is ‘just the latest result’ for its innovation policy, which it has adopted to ‘revolutionise the supply chain’ of this Italian cheese.

Viappiani noted that the company is investing in other ‘pioneering’ projects, including the implementation of Milk Trace, a digital solution that enables the company to trace milk collection from livestock farms to the Colline di Selvapiana e Canossa cheese factory and the Cigarello cheese factory.

Each driver is given a smartphone and a portable printer and, during their two daily milk rounds, they collect information, updating the company database in real-time, which is used for administrative procedures relating to deliveries and all company reporting.

“Our digital system to manage the flow of milk collection through a mobile app is one of the most comprehensive and effective ones around, and means we have continuously up-to-date information in real-time,​” Viappiani claimed.

There are also benefits when it comes to improved efficiency and transparency, which is increasingly important to European consumers, the chief executive suggested.

“The benefits obtained by the company are linked to process efficiency, which is now monitored day by day. It is another guarantee for the consumer of instant and accurate data traceability, which proves our group’s commitment to food safety,”​ he added.

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