The Milan metropolitan rural district allows to develop territorial project of certified short supply chain and strengthens the bond with local consumers.
The history of the rural district Riso&Rane stems from a long strategy of Lombardy Region that acknowledges local rural productive systems with homogeneous historic and territorial identity. This approach led to the integration of agricultural activities and other local businesses, dedicated to traditional products and delivery of services. In 2001, a legislative framework was set to promote and support the aggregation of enterprises as Rural Districts, aiming to increase co-operation in growth, innovation, internationalization, and logistics by sharing resources and know-how.
The Rural District Riso&Rane aggregates municipalities south-west of the Milan Metropolitan area and 60 rice producing farms in a total cultivated area of ca. 5,000 ha and an area cultivated with rice in ca. 4,000ha. The constitution of this District arises from the necessity of some farmers to overcome the archaic individualisms typical of the agricultural world, and in particular of rice producers, who to date have always inhibited the chances of achieving better strategies related to the production and marketing of their product. The district helped traditional farmers to reach new markets through traceability projects that convinced large scale retail stores to sell 75 tons of certified rice from 2014 to 2018. The sales have effects on the territory and on the joint growth of companies and administrations, increasing the level of cooperation also to develop territorial marketing projects.

Resources needed

The district sells the members' rice through different sales channels and expands district members' opportunities through specific rural development plan funding such as the DNA trademark project funded by Measure n.124 of Rural Development Programme 2007- 2013.

Evidence of success

The district gives the opportunity to develop innovative projects for district members in collaboration with research institutes as the certification DNA trademark providing rice with the protocol label, certificated, documented. It is univocally recognizable, like a copyright product. The DNA analyses are performed by the Genomics Platform of PTP Science Park, which belongs to the Agrifood Cluster. The DNA trademark increases product marketing and helps the district to reach new markets.

Potential for learning or transfer

The innovative process of identification and traceability (DNA Control procedure) of the local products is transferable to other contexts and could be a source of inspiration, because it could be extended to other type of crops and products in a given area. This initial bottom up action, with the help of public administrations, developed into the current consortium setting. The District today relies on its certification system to achieve an economic sustainability. To this extent, the close collaboration with technological and business partners is essential, such as the PTP Science Park, Universities, Large-scale distribution and food service marketing companies, in addition to the support of the Regional Government.

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Main institution
Rural District “Riso & Rane” (Rice & Frogs)
Lombardia, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
January 2013
End Date


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