Logo I.TER progettazione ecologica del territorio territorio


An initiative created within scope of the Regional Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020 - Operation Type 16.1.01 – Operational Groups of the European Innovative Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability – Focus Area 5E - Project PRATI-CO

Parmigiano-Reggiano: Agro-Technical Organic Carbon Footprint

Excellence and biodiversity in the Lands of Parmigiano Reggiano

(Goodness and Economic, Environmental and Social Sustainability)

From good soil management to the uniqueness of an iconic product Made in Italy. The Lands of Parmigiano Reggiano are at the heart of PRATI-CO, a three-year project funded by the Emilia-Romagna Region for Measure 16 of the RDP 2014-2020.

PRATI-CO was devised and is managed by an innovative operational group (IOG) led by I.TER, composed of Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali (CRPA), 5 farms and the Consortium "Bibbiano la Culla" which consists of six dairies producing Parmigiano Reggiano located near Bibbiano (Reggio Emilia). This group aims to study the best agricultural practices needed to preserve and maintain organic substances in the Lands where Parmigiano-Reggiano is produced in and around Bibbiano.

Permanent mixed meadows are characterised by over 60 species of plant per square metre, as they have not been ploughed for many years (on average 85, but many are hundreds of years old). Studies by CPRA have highlighted that permanent mixed meadows not only provide the distinctive flavours and aromas which characterise Parmigiano-Reggiano, but also play an important role in agro-environmental sustainability, particularly when compared to other fields or cultivated meadows. They foster carbon sequestration, enriching the soil with organic substances while containing emissions of carbon dioxide, one of the principal “greenhouse” gases (along with methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons), responsible for global warming. Furthermore, organic substances are important in determining soil fertility and good soil structure. These ideas are reflected in the name of the project "PRATI-CO", which literally means “MEADOW-CO”.

The focus of the PRATI-CO project is to quantify the “carbon footprint” of the whole Parmigiano-Reggiano production process, starting from the soil the forage fed to dairy cows is grown on, and including the whole zootechnical process of milk production. Another endpoint of PRATI-CO is to define new “guidelines to improve management of soil connected with Parmigiano Reggiano production to maintain organic substances and sequester carbon”.

This research takes into account the climatic and pedological conditions of the terrain as well as the agricultural practices of the farms in the operational group, and seeks to give a boost to and strengthen the role of the farmer, as the real guardian of the soil as well as producer of sustainable high-quality products.

FUNDING: RDP 2014-2020 EMILIA-ROMAGNA REGION Measure 16.1.01 – Operational Groups of the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability.

% FUNDING: 100% Measure 16 Focus Area 5E - 80% Measure 1
TOTAL COST: 168284.32 €
GRANT PERMITTED: 167887.52 €
With the contribution of EAFRD:

Project start date: 01/04/2016; Project end date: 31/03/2019


I.Ter Soc. Coop. (Project Leader)
Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali C.R.P.A.
Antica fattoria caseificio Scalabrini
Azienda Carcarena
Azienda Chierici
Azienda Pelosi
Consorzio Bibbiano La Culla
Azienda La Valle

Link to the Video realised by the PRATI_CO IOG:




  • Parmigiano Reggiano: Agro-techniques organic carbon footprint