Typicalp, an acronym for ‘Typicity, Innovation, Competitiveness in Alpine Dairy Products‘, was created to defend a reality of excellence, tradition and culinary quality. The main objective of the project, which is the result of a partnership between the IAR and LINKS, RAVA, Chambre VdA and HESSO, is to improve the technological supply chain of small and medium-sized agricultural producers in Valle d’Aosta and Canton Valais, Switzerland.
The laboratory prototypes are, in fact, used to conduct practical educational activities, research and direct experimentation in the field, taking small local realities as pilot cases and objects of study. The design phase, in collaboration with Self Globe, took into account certain fundamental parameters: versatility and mobility.
The two modules, each 6 metres long, were built in compliance with stringent European food regulations and designed to allow them to be moved between the Swiss and Italian Alps. The structures, which continue to move between the alpine pastures of northern Italy, are equipped with state-of-the-art machinery to process raw milk into cheese, whey and other derivatives. If connected to an external pasteuriser, i.e., already present on the farms in the area to which it is moved, of any size and capacity, the plant allows for discontinuous processing – a great opportunity for the study, also in terms of perspective of diversification at the level of the individual enterprise.
Furthermore, inside, the milk can be homogenised and deodorised thanks to the application of specific, tailor-made equipment that allows for a sophisticated treatment of the raw material. Both facilities have a special feature. One module is in fact equipped with glass windows in one of the two side walls; this allows students or customers themselves to watch the processing in total safety. The other has a front opening in the shop area to allow direct selling of the finished products and tasting on site in true food truck style.
These are ad hoc installations that have been worked on by many hands. The prototypes were completed thanks to the cross-study and hard work of the team of specialised technicians within Self Globe, the Institut Agricole Régional together with their counterparts from the Haute École Spécialisée de Suisse Occidentale and the collaboration of SP Group. A virtuous example of how cooperation and synergies between different companies lead to important results.
Offering local companies the opportunity to diversify production and enhance the value of mountain products is one way to innovate. The sustainable and innovative cross-border model devised within the Typicalp project allows all this and much more. Preserving the typicality of traditional Alpine dairy products and their inherent biodiversity is one of the main objectives of the entire programme. This is done through collaborations between research centres or by implementing joint interventions to solve common criticalities, aimed at product and process innovation while maintaining the ‘savoir faire‘ of tradition. It is only by focusing on quality that our small agribusinesses will be able to cope with this period of uncertainty.