Animal welfare is in pole position because only if the cows are healthy will we be able to produce good quality, sustainable meat and milk. A good table goes hand in hand with ethical standards and the most innovative technology at La Fiorida, the gourmet Agriturismo (awarded both the Michelin “classic” star and the “green star” for sustainability) led by Chef Gianni Tarabini and owned by the Vanini family.
On the occasion of its twentieth birthday and the event “Bitto and the stars” which every year brings 17 chefs to Valtellina who interpret Valtellina products, but this year too on an evening of celebration and friendship the Stalla Nuova de La Fiorida was inaugurated, renewing a commitment to guaranteeing food quality and safety starting with the raw materials.
The new construction – absolutely state of the art – spreads over 6500 sq. metres and is three times larger than the previous barn, but, and note well here, it still houses the same head of cattle to ensure ample living space for the animals’ movement and nourishment. Today there are 220 of the Bruna breed to whom state of the art rearing techniques are dedicated: feeding is controlled and personalised by an intelligence-based motorised system that both doses and selects the forage which is brought fresh to the animals 17 times a day. A further peculiarity, and unique, is that the animals are left free to choose their time of milking, so it’s more “spontaneous,” according to the natural rhythm of the individual and moving away from the twice daily fixed milking pattern.
But that’s not all: the natural sand litter allows urine to drain (which is then collected by a storage system) so that the cows can stretch out freely in an environment that remains dry and clean. Solid waste is removed several times a day.
These considerations ensure a healthier life for the animals which will thus not require drugs, anti-inflammatories or antibiotics. It goes without saying that the final product will consequently demonstrate optimum organoleptic characteristics.
As the new barn indicates, innovation is always geared towards sustainability here, even when it comes to the very “current” subject of energy: the overall structure – including the restaurant, rooms, bathrooms, company dairy and vegetable plots – taken as a whole, achieves energy self-sufficiency equal to 85% of global requirements thanks to the increase in photovoltaic panels and the brand new biogas plant which will exploit the collection of farm manure to create energy.
During the celebratory evening, Chef Tarabini was flanked by many chef friends and colleagues who share the very same values of sustainability and territorial safeguards that guide La Fiorida: Enrico Derflingher (presidente di Euro-Toques international), Alessandro Negrini (Aimo e Nadia – Milano), Tommaso Arrigoni (Innocenti Evasioni Milano), Stefano Ciabarri (Il Cantinone – Madesimo), Roberto Tonola (Lanterna Verde – Villa di Chiavenna), Fabrizio Girasoli (Ristorante Butterfly – Lucca), Silvia Baracchi (Il Falconiere – Cortona), Alessandro Gilmozzi (El Molin – Cavalese), Igor Macchia (Ristorante La Credenza – San Maurizio Canavese), Cristian Benvenuto (La Filanda – Macherio), Romeo Landi e Alfio Colombo (Il Beccacino-Pizzeria Spluga – Sorico), Marco Valli (Ludains – Sankt Moritz), Maurizio Santin (Unica School – Conselice), Gianluca Fusto (Fusto – Milano), Claudio Gatti (Pasticceria di Tabiano – Salsomaggiore Terme), Andrea Galli (Dolcepassione – Livigno).
“For my family La Fiorida is the synthesis of a lifetime’s work and also represents pride in having created something important in an area that we love so much,” explains the owner Plinio Vanini, “when i was six years old I sold toys in order to buy a goat. From our elders I learned the scent of the seasons: in winter I was a butcher and in summer I lived in the mountain pastures. For years then, I devoted myself to cars but in the end I heard again the call of the outdoors. I bought another cow and here we stand today. For this barn we went to Israel and to America and then we developed what we had learned with a little Italian entrepreneurship. We are a company that doesn’t say much but we try to do a lot. We are deeply proud of this, our territory”.