Parmesan cheese producers have said that the earthquake that hit northern Italy in May has seriously affected production
300,000 wheels of the cheese were knocked off shelves in maturing halls, with up to 80% being completely destroyed. The wheels that fell represent ten percent of Italy's annual production.
Three million 40kg Parmesan wheels worth nearly £1.6 billion are sold in Italy and abroad. The disaster could cost producers up to 80 million euros.
Leo Bertozzi, the director of the Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Consortium, said, “If the cheeses have broken open they may go mouldy, and wheels that have suffered minor damage will be sold at a discount for industrial use or grating. Seeing all those wheels everywhere really hit me in the stomach.”
Producers of Gran Padano were also affected, losing up to 130,000 wheels during the earthquake. One farm also lost 100 pigs reared for prosciutto ham.