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The new frontier of sheep meat in Sardinia

Incovi, a project looking at the market

17, Mar 2024

New techniques for fattening Sardinian sheep and crossings with meat rams to improve and diversify the quality of sheep meat in Sardinia. All this to strengthen the supply chain and the meat market, in particular for end-of-life animals destined for slaughter, but also for heavy lambs, focusing on improving nutrition. This is the objective of the Incovi project, (financed by the Sardinia PSR 2014/2022, EAFRD measure 16.1 fund - second phase and started in April 2023), which involves agricultural and agri-food companies, the University of Sassari and the Consortium for the Protection of PGI Lamb of Sardinia. “This is a project that could only involve us directly – explains Battista Cualbu, president of the Consortium for the protection of PGI based in Macomer -, Contas is always particularly attentive to innovations in breeding techniques and to the improvement of the sheep meat supply chain , delicious but which has little space on the market and which thanks to this project can find a wider position". Leading company is Daga Carni Srl. "We adopt a strategy that involves all the actors present in the area, essential to promote the economic sustainability of sheep farms and increase the competitiveness of the entire Sardinian sheep meat supply chain at a national and international level", says Angelo Daga, entrepreneur and partner of the slaughtering company. The work of the University of Sassari is fundamental. "It is important to pay scientific attention to the feeding of sheep at the end of their career, valorising the native Sardinian breeds where possible. This project represents a change of direction with a view to virtuous development and diversification of the products of Sardinian livestock farms” explains Professor Antonello Cannas, full professor of the UNISS Department of Agriculture and coordinator of the research project, in which Professor Costantino Fadda and Professor Alessandra Del Caro, from the same department, also collaborate with the aim of improving the quality of processed meat. to improve the breeding and processing techniques of lambs for meat, obtained by crossing Sardinian sheep with rams of meat breeds. “This research – explains the director of CONTAS, Alessandro Mazzette – is part of a series of other projects which concern the production of lamb meat which we are following with great interest. The meat market asks us for constant production throughout the year with standardized protocols and heavier animals, this requires a partial revision of the breeding and feeding systems. It is important to underline that the crossbreeds, given their seasonality, will never compete with PGI dairy lamb which will continue to be produced entirely with the Sardinian breed".
Also participating in the operational group are Sardinya Carni Srl, responsible for the marketing of meat in the local area, the Cooperativa Produttori Arborea, which will contribute to the creation of mixtures for livestock feed, and the agricultural companies Demetra, Nuraghe Elighe and the OP Unione Pastori soc . coop. Agr., involved in all phases of field research. The project is coordinated by Sarca Srl, with Dr. Marco Valerio Francone of MV Consulting as technical-scientific manager, while Credit Data Research Italia, a company specializing in subsidized finance, will take care of the management and reporting of the project. "For us at Credit Data Research it is the first time in a supply chain project in the sheep sector in Sardinia - explains Daniela Auzzas, contact person - we are sure that the objectives of the research will be able to act as a driving force for future entrepreneurial activities".

Consortium for the Protection of Sardinian Lamb PGI

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