RDP project database
Adding Value to Local Dairy Products: Pecorino Cheese in Italy
Investing in farm infrastructure helped a family farm in Italy to overcome difficulties by increasing productivity and the quality of its produce, a specialised local pecorino cheese. The farm’s viability has been improved.
In 2002, the Martinelli farm, a 240 ha sheep farm in the province of Pescara, was experiencing serious economic difficulty. The young owner decided to modernise the farm equipment. The investment improved the quality of the farm’s dairy products allowing the farmer to focus on the production of a specific local type of cheese, which has a Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO), and to access new markets. The ‘Pecorino di Farindola’ is a unique mature cheese made from sheep’s milk and swine (obtained from processing a part of the pig stomach with vinegar and spices).
The project aimed to increase the competitiveness of the holding by modernising farm equipment, increasing the productivity and opening to new market channels, such as big supermarkets.
The project activities, mainly supported by Measure 121, included: i) restructuring and modernising the stables; ii) the purchase of a milking machine to increase productivity and to allow tracing of the biological cycle of each sheep; iii) building a new warehouse to mature the cheese and a forage storage; iv) the realisation of a photovoltaic installation (70,20 KW); and v) improving farm accessibility to allow for future diversification into agro-tourism.
Results & Benefits
Modernising the farm equipment enabled the farm’s cheese to be certified and labelled as a Pecorino di Farindola PDO and provided access to the Consortium of the Pecorino di Farindola. Cultivated hectares increased as well as the number of sheep, enhancing productivity and allowing the farm to become the main producer within the Consortium. The farm has started selling its cheese in large supermarkets.
The proactive and entrepreneurial behaviour of the young farmer enabled the farm to overcome economic difficulty and improve viability. The success of this farm contributed to the implementation of other similar projects, boosting economic development in the region and adding value to local products. The access to large supermarkets helped increase sales and visibility in the marketplace.
Project location and other information
Farindola Valley, situated between Pescara and Teramo provinces in the Abruzzo region of Italy.
Total project cost (€)
1 418 552
EAFRD contribution (€)
Pietro Paolo Martinelli
Languages for contact
At a glance
Final beneficiary type
> €500 000
Theme / Measure:
Competitiveness of Agriculture & Forestry
Restructuring, developing physical potential, and promoting innovation
121. Modernisation of agricultural holdings
Quality labels, Cattle, Cheese, Livestock, Milk