The main aim of the institute is to research the biological cycle production of the helix species gastronomic snails. It was founded in Cherasco, Italy, in 1973 by Giovanni Avignana.
They mainly carried out experimental breeding practices in order to verify the economic viability of creating a group of reproductive animals from which to obtain ever increasing quantities of snails. Main focus of the research was the genetic section of the subjects, snails habitat, foods that are better suited to their growth and their feeding grounds rotation.
The Institute users founded the National Association of Snail Breeders in 1978, the association is located at the Institute site. Snail breeding has grown in number and quantity since the establishment of the institute, and in 2010 the square meters dedicated to snail breeding were 70,000,000. Most of these are connected to Cherasco Institute, which ensures technical and commercial assistance.
In 1984 they created the international prize for snail breeding studies, which opens work and research competitions in the applied field to operators and scholars from all over the world. The winning works are selected and published in a book,
More concrete development of snail breeding began in 1985, with a considerable increase of big dimension initiatives and with ever growing numbers of consistent productions. One of the main activities of the Institute nowadays is the commercial assistance to producers. Thanks to a specific agreement, the structure has guaranteed the acquisition and sale on the market of any quantity of product coming from the farms.
Read more about the institute here.
Services the Institute Offers
- They provide information to operators on production systems in outdoor breeding for all marketable Helix species.
- They offer direct assistance in setting, building and management of full biologic cycle snail breeding plans, with the creation of related project, work plan, costs estimate, etc.
- Selection, control and distribution, all over the world, of selected snails for the reproduction of Helix Aspersa and Helix Pomatia marketable species
- Right for producers to expose the origin label “Lumache Italiane” (Italian snails)
- Direct assistance on site if needed
- Training courses on marketing snails (live, fresh, refrigerated, frozen, treated)
- The management of a specific service which can carry out, all year around, the collection, the payment and the following sale on the market of the production of any snail breeder connected to the organization. The reference paying price is the one that can be found daily on national and French fish markets.
Basically, farmers can sign on and get seeds to grow the snails’ preferred greens, special netting to enclose the gardens, and reproductive stock – plus a guarantee that the Cherasco Institute of Heliculture will buy as much as they produce.
Snail Farming Training:
The Snail Breeding Institute of Cherasco organizes 2 to 3 times a month a full-day training and information on snail farming, preferably on Saturdays (eventually on Sundays).This is held at the central site in Cherasco (Cuneo). It is totally free and telephone booking is required. It lasts from 08:00 to 18:00 with a short 40 minutes break in the middle of the day. They allow a maximum of 60 bookings.
Introduction to production, feeding problems, reproduction and fattening management, picking, cleansing, market, legal, fiscal, health considerations videos and visit to an active farm.
You can also buy a Guide about Snail Farming here.