Wagyu around the World - Italy
Ferdinand Borletti (1888-1977) was the last of seven brothers from Milan and co-founder of la Rinascente and Standa department stores. He bought the estate Ca'Negra from a noble Venetian family - Baron Franchetti - to diversify from retail.
His son Mario (1920-1988) and engineer - who had been a naval officer during the war - was progressive and grew the business. Stephen, his son born in 1944, inherited the company and the farm of 500 hectares which straddles the provinces of Venice and Rovigo south of Venice. Conditions favour the cultivation of maize, alfalfa, soy, wheat and sugar beet. Crop rotations were practised in order to reduce dependence on chemicals and minimise the build up of pests and plant diseases.
Pure Wagyu embryos were imported from Mazda Wagyu International and Belltree. Since September 2009, Wagyu beef has been produced under the same techniques used in Japan and some live Wagyu were imported from Belgium. Grain production adopts sustainable practices that respect the environment and livestock products are certified "Organismi Geneticamente Modificati" (GMO) free. Capacity was increased to 1,100 head with housing in barns.
Ca'Negra Vanezia produce is available through Macelleria Maseroni.
Another generation has become involved in the business and brothers Ferdinando and Andrea Borletti visited Australia in 2013 to the origins of their Wagyu herd. With land limitations in Italy, they have established sources of fullblood Wagyu beef to import to supply the high-end restaurants in Switzerland and Italy.