First 'Mussel PDO Tour' kicks off in Unesco-recognised Biosphere Reserve
05, Jul 2023
Success for the training activity which in recent days has allowed the Cozza di Scardovari DOP, the mollusk that is born in the Unesco recognized Biosphere Reserve, to be made known to the national press. This action also represents the final phase of a project resulting from the synergy between the Protection Consortium, the Polesine Fishermen's Cooperative Consortium, the Qualivita Foundation and Eurofishmarket. "Discovering the Mussel DOP" is precisely the initiative that has led journalists from the major Italian newspapers to learn directly about the activities related to the breeding of the renowned mussel. In the rich corollary program of a specific seminar, the places and techniques of sowing and growth were shown up to the first processing which takes place in the typical fishermen's cavane and then arriving at the processing and packaging center where the mussels are cleaned, packaged and then distributed in the market.
«A promotion process aimed at increasing the visibility and positioning of the product in quality distribution with knowledge of the territory and the brand, as well as creating greater cohesion within the territory - comments Paolo Mancin, president of the Consortium for the protection of Cozza di Scardovari DOP - a project that has given a working key shared by our farmers with the common goal of making the DOP grow within the market and gaining greater attention and awareness from restaurateurs and the final consumer».
The journey of the Cozza di Scardovari DOP is an example of how networking is a winning model. This was the objective of the enhancement project, the result of an integrated communication strategy, defined with the "production and marketing plan" financed by the EMFF MASAF funds. From the creation of a new web portal and conversation activities on the product on the main social networks, to the narration of the Mussel DOP in the kitchen, through traditional dishes, passing through incoming press and operators. Thanks to this activity and in particular to the increase in knowledge of the product, both in terms of quality and taste, the price of the Cozza di Scardovari DOP has grown by 30% in one year, furthermore today it is present in the main Italian restaurants, in quality fishmongers and gourmet shops as well as in some branches of the GDO and the intent is to grow even more on the market.
The breeding of the Cozza di Scardovari DOP, thanks to this project, has become one of the most valuable elements of the multidisciplinary nature of the supply chain. In fact, a network has started around the product that sees the presence of fish tourism and fishing tourism with boat rides on the lagoon, lunches in restaurants that are specialized and offer recipes based on mussels. Also creating satellite related services in the area such as services that offer e-bike tours to discover the Po Delta. A reality capable of promoting the whole territory and giving the area economy, with forms of incoming based on the DOP product that can be defined as real tours by local operators.
The Consortium for the Protection of Cozza di Scardovari DOP was founded in 2017 to protect and promote the Cozza di Scardovari, the first shellfish in Italy to have obtained the European recognition of the DOP in 2013, to which the BIO certification was subsequently added. The body is part of the important Consorzio Cooperative Pescatori del Polesine O.P. a large fishing community born in 1936, and which today brings together 14 Cooperatives and 1,500 operators, about half of whom are women. The Consorzio di Tutela della Cozza di Scardovari DOP and CSQA Certificazioni, an independent body authorized by MASAF, as guarantors of the certified supply chain ensure compliance with the main requirements of the production specification such as origin, physical characteristics, methodology and production, packaging and labeling.