People and passion
Supervises the production and trade of Fontina PDO
The Consortium, which brings together the Fontina producers, was established in 1952. It was created as Consortium of Fontina Producers, and then it became Consortium of Producers and Protection of Fontina PDO in 2002.
The Ministerial Decree of 26 June 1957 entrusts the Consortium with the task of supervising the production and marketing of cheese for which the Fontina designation of origin may be used. In implementation of the supervisory action, the Consortium is entrusted with the task of affixing markings or signs capable of identifying Fontina cheese.
The mark affixed by the Consortium has always guaranteed the quality of the product and protected the consumer from possible attempts at imitation. In the first year of activity, the Consortium marked 75,000 Fontina wheels. Within ten years the number of marked cheeses reached 150,000, doubling again at the end of the 80’s and growing steadily until today.
One of the most significant dates in the Consortium’s history is 14 July 1993, when the Consortium applied to the European Union Commission for recognition of the PDO for the Aosta Valley cheese, which until then had boasted the historic Designation of Origin (DO).
In 1996, in a draft regulation, the Commission included the “Fontina” Protected Designation of Origin along with six other Italian cheeses.
On 26 April 2002, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry recognized the Consortium of Producers and Protection of Fontina PDO and entrusted it with the task of protecting, promoting, enhancing, informing the consumer and taking general care of the interests relating to the designation. Among the duties and powers vested in the Consortium ( pursuant to Law no. 526 of 21 December 1999) are regulatory proposals, advisory tasks and the drafting of programmes aimed at improving the quality of production, as well as cooperation against any kind of abuse, unfair competition and imitation. The ministerial assignment has been renewed periodically to date: the most recent was on 26 January 2019.
Protected Designation of Origin
Today, Fontina PDO cheese (Protected Designation of Origin throughout the European Union) must be produced in accordance with the Fontina PDO Product Specification, i.e. it must have precise characteristics in terms of shape, weight, diameter, heel and organoleptic characteristics, which make it unique in the Alpine dairy sector. Furthermore, the product specification establishes all the rules of the production cycle, starting from the raw material (raw, whole milk and cow’s milk belonging to the Valdostana breed) and the feeding of the dairy cows up to the whole process of transformation, maturing and packaging
The marking, managed by the consortium, is therefore preceded by the evaluation of all the fundamental characteristics defined by the Product Specification. Only the wheels that pass the checks and meet the necessary requirements are stamped with the mark that identifies the Fontina PDO product and indelibly differentiates it from imitations. The commission evaluating the wheels is made up of experts identified by the Consortium, enrolled in a special register and in charge of inspections.