Vipava Dairy Sold to Italian Buyer
Vipava, 24 September - The Vipava dairy, which produces the sharp-tasting Nanoški sir cheese, Slovenia's first product with Protected Designation of Origin status, has been sold to an unnamed Italian buyer for an undisclosed sum.
Director of cooperative Agroind Boris Bajc has told the STA that the cooperative has signed the sale contract with an Italian buyer, whose name and the value of the deal they will reveal when the purchase money is paid in full by the end of November.
He indicated that the buyer was a well-known Italian dairy producer, but denied the speculation that it was Parmalat or some other big company.
The new owner will only keep production of cheeses at the Vipava dairy, including the Nanoški sir brand and mozzarela, and only a part of the 22-strong staff, according to Bajc.
"The new owner will focus on production of cheeses and cheese products, but they have assured us they will keep Nanoški sir," Bajc told the STA.
The milk for the production of cheeses will continue to be bought from farmers in the Vipava Valley, the area around Idrija and Cerkno in the west and the Gorenjsko region in the north-west.
Milk from these areas is being exported to Italy, and much is bought by the buyer of the Vipava dairy. Bajc says the new owner will pay about 34 cents per litre, which should dissuade farmers from continuing to sell to Italy.
Bajc estimates 30,000 litres of milk is being produced in the Vipava Valley and about three to four times as much in the broader region of Primorsko.
The cooperative decided to sell the dairy because of the shortage of milk in recent months, its inability to pay for the milk and decision to focus on keeping the wine division considering that grape is the prime source of income for Vipava Valley farmers.