Welcoming a cheesemaker
26 March 2021 News from the Company
Oleg Sirota, a famous cheesemaker and blogger, owner of Russkiy Parmesan cheese plant, has paid a visit to Kaluzhskaya Niva. For two years in a row, the farmer has been purchasing milk from one of the company’s farms, Romanovo dairy.
In the course of the visit, the cheesemaker toured Aristovo, Bushovka and Sugonovo dairies located in Peremyshl and Ferzikovo districts. He was impressed with the modern livestock housing facilities and the science-based approach to ration formulation. Comfortable housing and nourishing feed are instrumental in producing the best-quality milk.
‘Every day, we buy seven tons of milk from EkoNiva’, explains Oleg Sirota. ‘Of course, for such a large company, it’s just a drop in the ocean but for us, it is a significant amount. We also have our own cows and milk for parmesan. EkoNiva’s raw milk is used for yoghurt and fresh cheese production. Our company sets very strict requirements for raw milk quality and transportation conditions. EkoNiva meets all our criteria.’
Russkiy Parmesan has won numerous prestigious awards in our country and in Europe. At the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, cheese and yoghurts produced by Oleg Sirota's factory were part of the regular diet of the French national football team. Istrinskiy and Festivalniy cheeses won bronze medals at the 14th International Käsiade Cheese Festival in Austria.
‘The judges were very surprised to learn that such high-quality cheeses were made in Russia’, says Oleg Sirota. ‘Our products outshone 500 competitors, which made us very proud! These hard cheeses require a long maturing period because they contain more milk than others.’
Within the past five years, the Istra cheese factory has produced over 1 million kg of cheese. To keep pace with the new trends, Oleg Sirota attends Russian and international exhibitions. It was at one of such events that Oleg first came across EkoNiva’s booth.
‘A smiling man approached me, and we started a conversation’, recalls Oleg Sirota. ‘I was amazed when it turned out that my new acquaintance was none other than Stefan Duerr, EkoNiva Group President. He was so easy-going and friendly that one would hardly believe it could be the owner of one of the largest agricultural holdings in Russia. That day marked the beginning of our cooperation.’
By Darya Denisova