Year 11 | 22 August 2019 | TO ENTER | TO REGISTER

My mozzarella? It’s in “pole position”

Ferrari’s former F1 World Champion launches into the World of Dairy Products.
And to win Jody Scheckter takes lessons at an Italian company from Modena

The team is still from Modena. But this time are no more important thousands of seconds, coolness to avoid an obstacle, the impudence with which to face an insidious curve. In the same way he fell in love with the “Reds” from Maranello (it was in 1979 when he got his F1 World Championship Qualification with Ferrari, the last victory before Schumacher’s age), today, Jody Scheckter is fond of the Dima’s dream machinery. No roar, no silvery frame, incredibly silent, the plant is able to produce every minute hundreds of delicious buffalo mozzarellas.

For his farm in Hampshire the great Formula 1 Champion has chosen the most sofisticated model of a Company (40 employees) in the Emilia Romagna Region, the only one able to give him a really excellent product. “I travelled throughout Italy – reports Scheckter during a crowded press-conference in a fashionable London restaurant in London – and I understood that I wanted at all cost “that” mozzarella, distant light-years from the products that actually circulate in the United Kingdom”.

Furthermore: once ordered the machinery he required that one of the man of trust of “Master” Aldrovandi (it is Claudio who founded in Modena in 1983 that dynamic Company called Dima) settled down in his farm for one year. “It has no sense- smiles Jody- to walk in the footsteps of the Italians without having a great Teacher”.

The energy charge is the same of old times, there is strict determination in his programs: “When I arrived at Laverstoke Park the farmers of the area looked at me as if I was a Martian. What does that Formula 1 “dandy” do in our fields? Who does he think to be to give us lessons in Agriculture?”. In twelve years Jody has shown that he is not only a venturous driver who upset his F1 colleagues or who took away the audience’s breath with his frightful about-faces (to be remembered of all the one, memorable, when he risked his life in Silverstone): today the company, also thanks to huge investments (where he used the millions obtained in the race times), got the podium as example of Farm of the Third Millennium. “Now they begin - continues Jody - to understand my project, that is to put together the best of science and tradition. And they no more laugh about me.” The numbers of this “miracle” are quickly stated: 130.000 planted trees, 31 different varieties of grasses (which represent a paradisiac pasture for hundreds of milk buffalos), but above all 100 persons who, from morning to evening, keep going this reality which extends from meat to mozzarella, up to champagne (thanks to collaborations with high prestige companies like Cristal).

Everything under the banner of Organic-food, war against pesticides, the first tractor in the world that circulates on the farm with a tank full of rape oil.
“Jody has a great quality, he is able to listen – tells Luca De Rosa, the expert from Modena who nearly is the shadow of farmer Schekter – His “farm” is not the latest crazy dream of a rich former F1 driver, it is a great global and revolutionary project of modern agriculture.”

“I started this adventure to offer the best to my family in relation to food – tells further Jody – Then I have taken the matter seriously and I expanded”. Today the dimensions of Laverstoke Park are impressive: 2500 acres of land, dozens of experts in white overalls analysing and selecting, electronic noses everywhere that test the quality of the new products, sofisticated equipment converting bio-gases from waste to electricity. Something like an updated Chocolate Factory.

Laverstoke is also full of memories of former times. As a matter of fact Scheckter purchased twelve racing-cars which he used at race times, driving them from time to time during some charity competitions. “I still love driving – he tells – but nowadays my attention is completely concentrated on my company. A Company which required big sacrifices from me before taking off. I was a pioneer, as my wife Clare often underlines, but also a visionary. Above all because I clearly knew that I did not want to get old, fat and flabby, on the bridge of a yacht anchored in Monte Carlo. It would have been devastating”.

Why on buffalo mozzarella, the British reporters ask him. A buffalo produces half the quantity of milk of a cow, but with much less cholesterol.” Do you think that you will be able to enter in competition with Italians? “I love Italy and I think that there is enough space for everybody on the market. For the moment my production will try to satisfy the national request. From Italians I learnt a lot when I was in Formula 1, from Italians I continue to learn the Art of Dairy Products. It is a country that I cannot forget. And for this reason I “returned” to Modena” .

by S. C.
02 march 2009, Food & Fun > Knowledge