Food - Drink
The Italian Bank Where You Can Use Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese As Loan Collateral
BY MEGGAN ROBINSON
The famed Parmigiano-Reggiano must legally be aged for a minimum of 12 months and is often aged for up to 36, which can make keeping a family-owned cheese business afloat while the cheese is aging a financial crunch. The bank Credito Emiliano (known locally as Credem) came up with a creative answer to this issue.
Small cheese-producing businesses in the Emilia Romagna region need both storage space for their cheese and funds to keep them afloat before they sell it. Credem has built a business that can fulfill both needs, as they extend a low-interest loan, and their subsidiary, Magazziini Generali delle Tagliate, provides climate-controlled storage and inspection for the cheese.
Lending cheesemakers funds while holding young Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese as collateral is a practice that Credem began in 1953. Though lending cash for cheese only makes up about one percent of the bank's business, it integrates the bank into the lives and work of the region's residents.