Shift-working dairies were once widespread throughout the Alps.
They were characterized by a simple and economical way of managing milk, suitable for dairy production on a local cale, with several farmers scattered throughout various villages. These cooperative societies do not buy milk but carry out a processing service on behalf of their members. Each breeder has a booklet where the milk delivered and the credit (or debit) of milk towards the dairy are noted on a daily basis. All the milk brought by the farmers in a day is transformed on behalf of a single member: the products obtained on that day are owned by the member, who normally collects them to market them on his own, but can also sell them at the dairy shop when this is active.

Ecomuseo delle Acque, Triglav National Park and Slow Food Italy have begun a shared path to preserve and enhance the latest shift-working dairies still in business. Last year in Gemona del Friuli a collaboration agreement was signed between the dairies of Campolessi (Udine), Peio (Trento), Valmorel (Belluno) and the breeders community of the Tolmin district (Slovenia). This accordance was born for sharing good practices, resources and projects and to ensure a future for an ethical and sustainable milk processing model, which is nowadays at risk of extinction.

Shift-working dairies, resistant by definition, represent a strategic choice to:

  • favor the local economy
  • preserve the environmental and cultural heritage of a territory
  • stimulate the production of quality food
  • guarantee direct sales that enhance the work of breeders and the purchase of products at sustainable costs: because access to “good, clean and fair” daily food is everyone’s right.


Phone:+39 338 7187227


Ecomuseo delle Acque
Shift-working dairies Community members:

Caseificio turnario di Peio, via San Giorgio 2, 38024 Peio (TN),

Latteria turnaria di Campolessi, via San Marco 7, 33013 Gemona del Friuli (UD),

Latteria turnaria di Valmorel, via Valmorel 1, 32020 Limana (BL),

Comunità degli allevatori di Tolmin/Tolmino, Stara Fužina 37, 4265 Bohinjsko jezero, Slovenia


If you want to know more about our realities call us at +39 338 7187227 or write us an e-mail at


Cover photo by Ulderica Da Pozzo

Last modified: 23 May 2022
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