The dairy farmers
The number of co-operative members and range of products sold have steadily grown over the years. Initially, members were exclusively from the Brusson and Ayas district: more than 50 dairy farmers. Over the years this number decreased, yet the total quantity of milk remained unchanged (approx. 2,100,000 Kg/year) with 39 certified organic farmers working about ten pastures. During the summer period – from June to October – further 11 farmers move their herds to the high alpine pastures. In order to promote the sale of adult beef, the co-operative set up business with certified organic farmers to produce organic “motsetta” (cured meat).
In time, other farmers and small holders joined the co-operative, thereby broadening the range of agricultural products (honey, vegetables, forest fruits, medicinal herbs, liqueurs…). Thus, our dairy has gradually developed into a showcase displaying a wide variety of local agricultural products.
Val d’Ayas dairy farmers
Approximately 40 farmers produce ca. 2,600 Tonnes of milk per year.
The land is farmed in a natural manner, following the seasons: during the winter the cattle are fed on locally grown hay, in spring they are taken to the spring meadows and in summer to higher summer pastures.
Each day’s work follows the rhythm of the day and the night. In summer work begins with milking at 4 am, after which the cows are taken to the meadows. Around midday the cattle are taken back to the cowshed to rest and then milked again in the afternoon before being taken out to graze.
In addition to the pressing work, important jobs such as checking the health of the cattle, cleaning and calf rearing are never neglected. The Valdostan alpine breeds, in particular the Pezzata Rossa give an inferior milk yield to other breeds however, the quality is excellent and reaches its apex during the summer months when the cows are put out to graze in the high alpine pastures.