Serving Italy and Italian Livestock Breeders
The Italian Livestock Breeders’ Association (Aia) was founded in Rome on 20 August 1944 to revitalise national livestock breeding programmes that had been devastated by World War II. In 1950 it was awarded charitable status by Presidential Decree in recognition of its services to the public. Aia’s mission is summarised in article 3 of its Statute: “The association is of a technical and economic nature. Its aim is to promote initiatives which can usefully contribute to a rapid improvement in livestock, enhancing value and the value of products”.
The initial structure has now grown and has branches all over Italy, supporting all sectors of livestock breeding and offering a wide range of technical services to boost competitiveness and sustainability for breeders.
Genetics in our blood
The Italian Ministry for Agricultural Policy has entrusted Aia with the keeping of genealogical records and registers for Italian breeders, the essential tool at the base of all the breeding and genetic improvement programmes which have made Italy such an advanced country in this field on an international scale. Aia works closely with all the National Breed Associations to carry out regular inspections on all member farms.
Apart from its experience in the study of traditional genetics, Aia has recently acquired a genomics platform for experiments in the field of molecular genetics, undoubtedly the future of livestock breeding. This will ensure that Italy will be able to play a leading role in the international community and that Italian breeders will benefit from increasingly healthy, long-lived and productive stock.
Research and Reliability
Apart from the institutional tasks Aia carries out under its mandate from the Ministry of Agricultural Policy, the Association advises and discusses issues with the Ministries of Health, Foreign Affairs, Environment and Regional Policy, as well as with a number of other international and EU bodies. It collaborates on and participates in important projects with leading Italian universities, CNR (the Italian National research Council) and with other experimental research institutes and consortia. In 1987 Aia also set up an Observatory on the Dairy Products’ Market at Cremona in conjunction with the Catholic University of Piacenza.
The fact that Italian food is so popular around the world and so widely appreciated for its excellent quality is partly merit of Aia and its breeders. It is no coincidence that 81% of Italy’s milk comes from farms that are members of Aia, who represent 51% of all active dairy farms. In other words the most efficient producers are part of our Breeders’ System, where our constant expert support has made dairy farm management increasingly competitive.
Sustainable by Nature
But being a good breeder does not just mean being a good business person, it means being a good citizen too.
Thanks to the work of its 2500 specialists in stockbreeding, agronomy and veterinary science, Aia promotes a health and well-being culture for the animals on its farms every day. A wide-reaching network of advice and expertise flanked by our training courses, which are attended by thousands of breeders and farmers. Because we believe our mission is not just to carry out standard checks, we want to make Italian stockbreeding and dairy farms a sustainable force for a positive attitude in the countryside.
Every year our Breeders’ System guarantees more than 250,000 days’ work in the countryside, because food safety is no desk job, it means being out there in the field with all the breeders and institutions who have supported our Association since its inception in 1944.
The Value of Biodiversity
Here at Aia all our breeders have the same opportunities, whether they farm in the mountains or in the plains, in dry or wet areas, in the north or in the south. And equally we are committed to working for all breeds, whether they are commonly found on farms everywhere or are on the verge of extinction. At Aia we believe that biodiversity is part of our heritage and that breeders are its guardian angels, but it requires careful conservation work. This task is part of our mission, as we try to match the technical side of livestock farming with enhancing and promoting its products. Because Italy’s wealth is not just a question of its GNP, when we lose a breed we all lose something.
The AIA Guarantee 100% Italian
All our animals have passports and pedigrees and we know exactly who bred them. This means we can guarantee that the milk and meat from Aia member farms is 100% Italian and truly “Made in Italy”. Aia livestock also all boast an “Italialleva” blue badge to make sure that the public benefits from the ongoing commitment of Aia and its experts. A commitment that creates wealth, provides employment, even during a crisis, protects the land and helps stem rural depopulation. It is also a commitment to total traceability, because our breeders are proud to stand by their work.
AIA for Breeders Worldwide
During its 70-year history, AIA has always promoted international collaboration aimed at the development of the livestock sector through high quality goods and dedicated services in the areas of capacity building, technical training, technology transfer, animal genetics and genomics.
AIA shares its know-how in control protocols and procedures for the proper management of registers and herd books. AIA works with many international partners on innovative initiatives embracing a cross-cutting approach tailored to respect biodiversity, bio-security and the diversity of the territories.
Its mission is to guide the farmers to the use of the best practices in the management of animal welfare, productions chains, quality and traceability of food products to ensure food security and safety.
Associazione Italiana Allevatori - AIA
Via G. Tomassetti, 9
00161 - Roma (Italy)
Tel. +39 06 854511