Italian bank accepts parmesan as loan collateral – WeirdNews


(Web Desk) – There is a bank that doesn’t want your house, car, or anything else as collateral. What does he want instead? Cheese! Yes, it’s true.

There is a bank that accepts cheese wheels as collateral and not just any cheese, only genuine high quality Italian Parmesan produced by local farmers in a particular part of Italy.

Credito Emiliano or CredEm for short is an Italian bank in the Emilia Romagna region that takes the love and appreciation of food and traditions to the next level.

In 1953, the bank executives decided to start accepting the giant Parmegiano Regiano wheels as collateral from local farmers seeking small business loans.

This is a great arrangement due to the nature of cheese production. Typically, it takes between 18 and 36 months for Parmesan to age, that is, when cheese makers deliver it to buyers and receive payment for their labor.

However, not all business owners can wait up to 36 months to get paid. Many of them need money faster to supplement their cash flow.

That’s why when the bank steps in and offers a “parmesan loan”, it helps farmers stay in business.

Credito Emiliano has a significant amount of Parmesan cheese in its facilities.

According to an April 2017 interview, the bank typically stores more than 300,000 wheels of cheese.

At this point, it was valued at over 160 million euros (over 142 million US dollars at the 2017 exchange rate).

That’s a lot of cheese! Certainly more than any of us can consume at a family dinner.

The bank does not keep Parmesan in a safe with other valuables.

They have built a special warehouse where the cheese is stored, and a special team and the bank manager take care of the Parmesan from the time it arrives at the warehouse until it is delivered to the farmer between 1.5 and 3 years later.

Bank manager says they “protect producer investment” and calls this concept “cow to bank”

How do these loans work?

Let’s try to imagine what a typical process would look like for Giuseppe, a local farmer, based on what we know.

Giuseppe has long had a small business producing Parmegiano Regiano – in fact; it’s a generational business. But the cash flow is tight, which is why the farmer urgently needs a loan from the bank.

Giuseppe has an appointment at CredEm and asks for a loan. He obtains approval for the amount he requested, on condition that he remits a certain number of millstones to the bank. Guiseppe accepts these conditions.

Now the farmer has the financial means to manage his operations.

He has enough money to feed the cows, pay the workers to milk those cows, and then make the cheese. Once the Parmesan is ready, a bank rep collects it – or maybe Guiseppe delivers it himself.

We cannot be certain of these details as arrangements may vary. Either way, the Parmesan is delivered safely to the bank’s warehouse, where a dedicated team takes care of it for up to 36 months.

Guiseppe repays the loan. Once the term has expired and the cheese has aged, the bank releases the guarantee.

The Guiseppe distributors collect the cheese for sale, and the farmer continues his operations. Everyone is happy, especially those of us who sprinkle Parmesan cheese on pasta.

Why is Parmesan so valuable?

Parmesan can only be produced in one region of Italy: Emilia Romagna.

There are five cities where this culinary wonder is exclusively made: Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua. That’s all, no exceptions!

It takes a lot of milk to produce a wheel of Parmegiano Regiano cheese – 131 gallons on average.

A parmesan wheel can cost over $ 1,000, and since it typically weighs 88 pounds, it comes in at $ 11 to 1 pound.

Each year, farmers produce around 3.6 million grindstones, valuing the industry at US $ 2.5 billion (or € 2.2 billion).

Obviously, people all over the world love and appreciate Italian cheese!

According to, the cheese industry was worth US $ 3.5 billion in 2019.

If Parmesan absorbs around 2.5 billion a year, that means this majestic cheese accounts for the lion’s share of the country’s cheese exports.

In 2019, cheese was in 24th place on the Italian export list, with wine taking the place

Some of us don’t have the best experience with banks. But it’s heartwarming to hear stories about banks supporting local small businesses, especially when they accept delicious food as collateral.

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