Latteria Perenzin

Organic on the cheese counter at Harrods. Perenzin products make their first appearance on export markets. Debut at the Cologne exhibition.

To have products sitting in the displays at Harrods, the most famous department store in the world, is the ultimate image boost for many companies. And as it happens, the humble Perenzin cheese dairy of San Pietro di Feletto (Treviso, north east Italy) has now been a regular in that grand Knightsbridge emporium for some two years. “And to think we never even knew”, declares Emanuela Perenzin, today joint-owner of the company with husband Carlo Piccoli. “The fact is that we have no wider sales network, so we rely on distributors. It was some customers of ours who told us where they had come across our organic goat milk ricotta”. Goat ricotta is one of the leading products made by this family firm, which has been specializing now for six years in organic cheeses. “We decided to go into this niche market”, continues Emanuela, great-granddaughter of founder Domenico Perenzin, “as a way of doing something different from the usual varieties, and now, organic and DOP account for around 80% of our entire output”. Producing 100 tonnes of cheese with a team of ten employees and generating a turnover of 1.5 million euros, which has remained “steady again this year”, Perenzin is a brand sold at 1000 retail outlets throughout Italy. But success in London (sales of 50 kg per week) has encouraged the company to break into other markets: France, Spain and Austria are the initial targets, selected not least with the end in view of hitting back at Dutch competitors, as these begin to challenge Italian supremacy in some areas. “This year, for the first time, we’re going to exhibit at a big food show, in fact the biggest in Europe: the Anuga in Cologne. Our goat cheeses are made from 100% pure goat’s milk, and are ideal for many people unable to tolerate cow’s milk, but they are fresh products that can only be supplied from February to mid-November, so the cow’s milk side of the business has to continue”. Diminutive yet dynamic, the Perenzin dairy, which has even come up with a Mediaeval cheese: “assuming that yields were less of an issue in those days, and that the milk would therefore have been richer, we selected parlours that supply a milk high in fats”.

Massimiliano Crosato