Credit Crunch: Italy Bails Out Parmesan

According to a news report from, “Silvio Berlusconi’s government is to buy 100,000 of the country’s beloved Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses from its hard-pressed producers at a cost to the state of 50 million euros (£45 million).”

“The hard, pungent cheese made around the northern city of Parma has until now been a staple product found in most Italian households – and as confirmation of the country’s obsession with food is Italy’s most shoplifted product,” said the story. “But high production prices due to the soaring cost of animal feed and milk have driven up the cost of making one of the iconic 35kg cheeses so that manufacturers are losing money on each parmigiano they produce, while demand for the product from an increasingly cash-strapped public has slumped.”

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