The Slovenia Times

Vipava dairy turns into mozzarella plant


The facility, which was bought by a Slovenian-Italian join venture Ekolat two years ago, processes 130,000 litres of milk a week and mainly exports to Italy.

The test production of the mozzarella cheese was launched in mid-May and so far less than 5% of the products was sold in Slovenia, Ekolat's representative Peter Selčan said.

The plant produces three to four tonnes of mozzarella a week and employs 15 people. Two of the employees are from Italy, while the team includes many of the former employees of Agroind Vipava, the dairy's previous owner.

Ekolat, in which Italy's Trevisanalat holds an 80% stake and the Kranj-based cooperative Mlekop 20%, plans to expand production from one to three production lines and hire more people in the future.

Selčan said the dairy used exclusively Slovenian milk supplied by Mlekop and would like to buy milk locally.

The opening ceremony was also attended by Agriculture Minister Dejan Židan, who said he was happy to see the food industry in the Vipava valley revived.

If milk production and processing increased, the 40% of milk that is now exported could be used in Slovenia, he noted. "That way we would be exporting milk products at a higher price, while offering more jobs at home," he said.

The CEO of a near-by dairy Planika Kobarid, Anka Miklavič Lipušček, said cooperation with Ekolat had already been set up and that their outlet sold the Vipava mozzarella cheese, which was why they did not see it as a rival.

She expressed the wish that the traditional Nanos cheese would also be produced again in Vipava.


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