IGOR is truly committed to preserving the know-how of traditional cheese making, an important value to be handed down proudly to future generations.
For this reason, during its expansion, the company has chosen to acquire three historic cheese companies deeply involved in the territory with a long-lasting experience in Gorgonzola production.
Indeed, with the acquisition of the CLIN, PAL, and Ballarini companies, IGOR has shifted its focus towards the premium end of the market relying on the production of the Gran Riserva Leonardi, IGOR’s carefully crafted and selected top-of-the range cheese.
The historic Cheese Factory Pal was founded in 1933 in Prato Sesia (Novara) located in the greenest valley of Italy, the Valsesia Valley.
In 2014, IGOR acquired the historic cheese factory owned by Franco Paltrinieri, who has always been a producer of high-quality Gorgonzola cheese, with the goal of providing customers and consumers with the Gran Riserva Leonardi, the finest of all Gorgonzola cheese varieties.
Just like the old days, many producing steps are carried out strictly by hand so each wheel has its own identity and brings with it a wealth of history, traditions, and flavours that makes it unique and inimitable. An history that comes from perfumed mountain pastures where the time of the cheese maturity is marked by the gentle flowing of the Sesia river near Monte Rosa.
Current production consists of approximately 300 wheels per day of Gran Riserva Leonardi Gorgonzola, the PDO cheese flagship of the IGOR Group.
CLIN was founded in 1967 as the land trust "Cooperativa Agricola Produttori Latte Indenne Novara" with the aim of collecting and storing the milk produced by its associates, which then could be used to produce Gorgonzola in its brand new cheese factory located in Casalino.
Since its inception, thanks to its sales strategy towards foreign markets, CLIN has become one of the first companies to export the piccante (spicy) Gorgonzola cheese to the UK and US. This great achievement was also made possible thanks to the traceability of farm milk production, the high quality of the product, a state-of-the-art dairy plant, and all the skilled employees that worked in the factory. All these factors combined together proved essential to make CLIN one of the pioneering companies of the dairy industry.
Today this cheese factory produces about 800 wheels/day of sweet and piccante (spicy) Gorgonzola PDO cheese characterized by high quality levels.
CLIN is a wholly owned subsidiary of IGOR. Nonetheless, its workforce, led by the same historic dairyman, has remained unchanged. At the same time, worldwide export has been greatly enhanced.
Ballarini SpA, founded in 1954 by Gianni Ballarini, is highly specialized in the ripening and packaging of Gorgonzola PDO, and has quickly become one of the main international market suppliers of this cheese. Thanks to its innovative packaging systems and high-quality products, Ballarini has been able to establish a global presence on foreign markets over time.
The secret of its success lies in the careful and slow ripening process which makes Ballarini Gorgonzola a high-quality product renown to many food suppliers operating all over the world.
From 2003 to 2005, the company underwent restructuring. In 2006, the company was acquired by the IGOR Group. An acquisition strongly pursued by the Leonardi family, which saw this as a great opportunity to increase its presence on the markets overseas while safeguarding quality and traditional cheese making.