Slow Food has launched more than 90 Presidia to valorize traditional raw milk cheeses, many of which are also protected by Protected Denomination of Origin status. In many cases, Presidium and Denomination of Origin live side by side, peacefully and profitably.
Two examples are Emmentaler (gU) in Switzerland and Enna Piacentinu (Dop) in Sicily.
This cheese was awarded gU status in 2006 and also has a number of sub-denominations (at present there are eight). Each has its own specific quality characteristics, but all are made exclusively with raw milk.
Slow Food has set up a Presidium that works with a dairy, eleven breeders and an affineur in the Emme Valley, where the cheese originated and where it is aged for at least twelve months. Besides being printed with the letters ‘gU,’ the cheese also bears a black label with the denomination Gotthelf (in honor of one of Switzerland’s most celebrated writers) to distinguish its special production method. The two symbols appear together without any legal problem to identify the supply chain scheme underway in the cheese’s area of historic origin. What a success story!
Enna Piacentinu was the hundredth cheese in Europe to be protected by PDO recognition. It is made in Sicily with the raw milk of native Sicilian sheep breeds such as the Valle del Belice, the Pinzirita and the Comisana, and the addition of saffron to the rennet. In 2013, Slow Food set up a Presidium dedicated to the cheese, which initially involved half the producers on the market. Two years later, the Dop-certified producers who were not members of the Presidium also applied to join. Today the two groups work as a single entity and are developing excellent valorization work together.