The ‘Consorzio per la Tutela del Formaggio Grana Padano’, or the ‘Consortium for the Protection of Grana Padano’, comprises 129 producers and 148 maturation facilities and has the goal of protecting  and promoting Grana Padano cheese and its Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.) status in Italy and abroad.

The Consortium is based in Brescia in the heart of the Grana Padano region which extends along the Po Valley and includes 32 provinces, from Piedmont to Veneto, from Trento to Piacenza.

Grana Padano is differentiated from all other cheeses by its strict production standards.  It can only be produced from Italian milk from the designated Grana Padano production area which is partially skimmed by natural surface skimming and processed in cone-shaped copper-lined cauldrons which are only large enough to produce two wheels of cheese at a time.

The branding of each wheel, with the iconic Grana Padano four-leaf clover, is then moulded into the wheel using a cylindrical mould known as a ‘fascera’. At this point the wheel is ready to be salted in brine for a period of between 14-30 days and is then matured in facilities which maintain temperature, humidity and ventilation and are turned approximately every 15 days. 

In the ninth month of maturation, all Grana Padano wheels are examined under the watchful eye of the Consortium officials, with the traditional inspection tools; a hammer, needle and probe. 

If the cheese does not pass every test the wheels will be fire branded with an ‘X’ over the four-leafed symbol and the wheel markings.

A rejected wheel cannot be called Grana Padano and must be referred to as ‘Retinato’, from the Italian ‘rete’ which translates to ‘net’, given because of the ‘netting’ effect created by the cross marks over the wheel itself. 

If the wheel passes all tests, it will be fire branded by the Consortium with the iconic Grana Padano diamond-shaped brand.  Then, and only then, can the cheese be called Grana Padano P.D.O. 

This doesn’t mean all Grana Padano is the same.  Despite the strict standards set down by the Grana Padano Consortium, which states that the cheese must be aged for a minimum of 9 months, the best Grana Padano is matured longer than this.

Grana Padano PDO from Latteria Soresina is aged a minimum of 11 months and with strict controls of their milk sourcing exclusively from Latteria Soresina dairies which guarantees consistent quality and maturity of every wheel.

Conga Foods has been importing Italian cheese, including Grana Padano P.D.O., since the 1950’s and is the largest importer of Italian Cheese in Australia.

Our Italian partner, Latteria Soresina, is Italy’s largest producer of Grana Padano PDO, having long been established itself as the most prestigious producer within its sector.

This selection process ensures that our customers always receive the best quality Grana Padano P.D.O. when they buy Latteria Soresina, which can be traced from the milk of the cows of the Po Valley region, to continental delicatessens, restaurants and supermarkets Australia wide.