Pre­cious cheese seals the deal

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

MI­LAN: For­get gold, prop­erty or pre­cious stones. In cen­tral Italy, a de­posit of Parme­san cheese is enough to se­cure a loan.

The unique sys­tem dates back to the 1950s and is still used by four banks in the north­ern Emil­i­aRo­magna re­gion, in­clud­ing one which holds about 400 000 rounds of the cheese.

A round of Parme­san weigh­ing 40kg is worth € 300 (R3 440).

“But dur­ing th­ese two years, the pro­duc­ers must cover a range of costs and con­tinue to pay their sup­pli­ers. To al­low them the nec­es­sary fi­nanc­ing, the banks in this re­gion have di­ver­si­fied by cre­at­ing Parme­san stor­age,” said William Biz­zarri, who looks af­ter stored cheeses for Cred­ito Emil­iano bank.

In cases of de­fault, the banks re­cu­per­ate their losses by sell­ing the cheeses. – Sa­paAFP

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