A cheese making business in the Alps is the unusual but thriving project of Ethiopian entrepreneur (and trained sociologist), Agitu Ideo Gudeta. Forced to flee Ethiopia in 2010 after becoming involved in peaceful protests against land grabbing by international corporations, she has rebuilt a successful new life for herself in northern Italy, where she founded a successful business producing and selling goat’s cheese. The move has helped increase numbers among a rare breed of goat, which are allowed to graze on abandoned communal pastures. Agitu Ideo Gudeta had to leave her homeland eight years ago

Arriving in Europe, the trained sociologist (who had obtained her degree in Italy some years earlier) had to start over again from scratch – and set out to found a business in the alpine Trento region.

 

At the ‘La Capra Felice’ or ‘The Happy Goat’, she only uses milk from Pezzata Mochena goats, a local indigenous breed whose numbers have declined dramatically in the last few years. Starting with a herd of just 15 goats, Agitu now has 180 and her firm has attracted media attention at both the national and international levels. Young people from all over the region as well as tourists are visiting her dairy farm to observe or learn how to make her popular cheese and spend time with the goats while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

 

Today The Happy Goat enterprise produces 15 types of organic and award winning cheese and she employs refugees as shepherds – many of them are used to working with animals since an early age and Agitus own ancestors were nomadic shepherds. The documentary (link below) tells the story of this brave entrepreneur with a smart approach who has managed to turn her concept into a success story.