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Cows are extremely honest animals

 

Repossi Macchine Agricole and Azienda Bonati: a history of quality

 

Azienda Agricola Bonati Giorgio in Baselicanova di Montechiarugolo (Parma) produces top quality Parmigiano-Reggiano (genuine Italian Parmesan). Their cheese has won several prizes, including the Gambero Rosso “Tre Spicchi di Cacio” (three wedges of cheese) and “Fuoriclasse” (champion) awards, and the ALMA Cucina “ALMA CASEUS 2012” award. It is sold in the best Italian and international restaurants and gourmet shops (a few of which are listed on www.bonat.it) and is exported directly to 22 countries. “We are a full cycle company,” said Giorgio, the head of the family, “from the feed for our animals, the milk and its transformation into cheese, right up to sales. We manage and deal with everything directly.”

They achieve quality by controlling all stages in person: animal nutrition, cheesemaking and sales. The first secret is in the fields, where you can literally smell the aromas. This means excellent products since, as Gianluca Bonati said, “cows are extremely honest animals: they always give back what they are given. That is why we grow our own maize, soybeans, alfalfa, hay and forage: the only feed we give our two hundred dairy cows. We have ancient meadows with species and grasses that can no longer be found elsewhere.” It is no coincidence that the reasons given for the prizes Bonati has received for its Parmigiano-Reggiano mention above all “the strict choice of raw materials, where the cows only have to transform the high quality of their feed into milk…”, and since fodder accounts for 85% of their cows’ feed by volume, it is of primary importance to carry out all haymaking operations with absolute care.

Gianluca Bonati loves the outdoor life: “Cheese is a living thing. And it is an honest product. The flavours enter the milk and we find them in the final product thanks to our animals.”

“Quality forage is the result of meticulous care during all stages, with no exception: cultivation, reaping, swath formation, aeration, harvesting and drying. For this reason, we are very demanding even when we choose a rake.” Their choice fell on a four-function electrohydraulic Repossi 7500 Poker. “We used a six-metre Repossi 6000 Trio for ten years,” said Gianluca, “which we sold last May in excellent condition as soon as we put it up on the web. The 7500 Poker rake is a step up from the 6000 Trio not only in its size. I really have to congratulate Repossi: they have developed a rake that, thanks to special devices, is a significant leap in quality compared to the previous model, which we were in any case highly satisfied with. The model 7500 Poker has a number of features that are perfect for us: it moves forward quickly while its combs rotate slowly; it is delicate, so it keeps the forage intact; it does not pick up stones and earth (as laboratory tests performed on a sample show) and lifts the forage off the ground without rolling it; it allows perfect aeration, with a consequent drastic reduction in drying hours and therefore cost savings; it can work in four different configurations, which makes it extremely flexible, and reconfiguring the whole thing is very simple. I have to give Repossi credit for listening to our requests and suggestions and providing us with a made-to-measure machine.”

 

Retrieved from Il Giornale del Rivenditore Agricolo – September/October 2013.

Translation not revised by the author