Within the framework of the European campaign “Discover the Shapes of Taste-Made in Europe”, Assolatte (the Italian Milk & Dairy Association) invited several famous food media, influencers and buyers from China to embark on a journey to learn more about European milk and dairy products. Professionals of Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen travelled to the city of Milan, in northern Italy from May 7th to 11th.

On May 6th, media and buyers from different parts of China met in Beijing and travelled to Milan where they were received by the organization that conducted a tour to discover the impressive places and buildings of the city.

On May 8th and 9th, all these professionals from different sectors participated in TUTTOFOOD, the largest and most influential food and beverage exhibition in Italy. Italy, as one of the leading members of the EU, attracted a multitude of buyers and visitors to this great exhibition in Milan.
During the exhibition, various media interviewed prestigious Italian companies within the dairy sector, who presented and revealed the characteristics and benefits of Italian milk and dairy products. Different managers from the dairy industry actively met with various professionals with the aim of exporting high-quality Italian milk and dairy products to China. Italian companies, also, took the opportunity of these meetings to learn in depth the demand and suggestions of Chinese buyers. Chinese buyers are not only considering the acceptability of the flavours in China, but also the delivery time, which the Italian shelf companies have explained with great care. There was a wide range of dairy products, from various packaged butter, Grana Padano PDO, Parmigiano Reggiano PDO, burrata to Gorgonzola PDO and various creams, etc. After trying all the flavours, food media, KOL and buyers said that Italy has the largest variety of cheeses in the world. Almost all brands have been in business for many years, and many family-owned companies are still producing excellent products for the Italian milk and dairy industry with traditional flavours and excellent technology, and the same variety of cheese has different flavours depending on how it is made and how long it has been stored.

On May 10th, the press and buyers divided into different missions.

The press delegation went near to Brescia, in northern Italy, in order to visit, firstly, the plant of Ambrosi Spa, one of the largest producer of Grana Padano PDO cheese and, secondly, the Consortium for the Protection of Grana Padano. They were thus able to learn about the process of making and curing the cheese as well as the world of the European IG cheeses. Grana Padano PDO cheese is a hard and cooked cheese, with prolonged ripening that can last over 24 months. The basic raw materials are raw milk, curd and salt. Milk is partially skimmed by surfacing of the cream, which is then removed. According to the original formula that has remained unchanged for nearly a thousand years, only semi skimmed milk produced in the production area specified in the production specification is used giving a unique flavor after an accurate aging process.

After a pleasant lunch organized by Assolatte, the media spent an afternoon in the town. A meeting was also held with Mr. Andrea Stretti, Assolatte International Project Manager, who presented information on Assolatte, its associates and the European campaign.

The buyer delegation went instead to the plant of Igor Srl, a company with a strong focus on Gorgonzola PDO production. In this case too they were later led to visit the related Consortium for the Protection. Through these visits, they hope to make this wonderful cheese better known in China, promoting it in many points of sale. Gorgonzola is a raw marbled, soft cheese with a white to straw colour, and characteristic green-blue veining. Soft and creamy, it has a typically sharp, tasty flavour and its strength varies according to variety. It is produced exclusively from whole cow’s milk pasteurized with the addition of milk enzymes and selected moulds which give it its typical veining. The mild variety is ripened for at least two months, while the stronger variety is aged for more than three months. The buyers could observe the production of Gorgonzola in the workshop, which has a capacity of 8.000 wheels of Gorgonzola per day, each weighing about 17 kg and having a licence number to ensure that the cheese is produced in aseptic conditions.
After the trip, the opportunity to learn as much as possible about Italian milk and dairy products and to interview Assolatte to learn about the cheese-making process was highly valued by the media, considering that active promotion can improve the status and awareness of Italian dairy products in China. Buyers are very satisfied, after three years of epidemic, with the opportunity to select new products from abroad, has made the trip very meaningful.

Discover the Shapes of Taste-Made in Europe, an information campaign co-funded by the European Union and managed and executed by the Italian Milk and Dairy Association Assolatte, will continue its process in China to raise awareness of European dairy products in China.

Follow the WeChat official account ShapesofTasteEU and the website www.shapesoftaste.cn to keep updated about all the activities and promotions we are developing! Don´t miss the opportunity to learn more about this campaign and win exciting gifts!

Enjoy the original Milk and Dairy products from Europe

Keep healthy!