Ham, the taste of origin and tradition in Europe
INFORMATION ON THE ACTIVITIES ON INFORMATION PROVISION AND PROMOTION MEASURES CONCERNING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS/CALL FOR PROPOSALS 2016
On 22 October, 2014, the European Parliament and the European Council adopted the Regulation (EU) N. 1144/2014, on information provision and promotion measures relating to agricultural products in the internal market and in third countries, by way of which the Council Regulation (EC) No. 3/2008 is repealed, which was completed by the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/1829 of the Commission, and whose provisions of application are set forth in the Implementing Regulation of the Commission (EU) 2015/1831.
The general objective of these information and promotion measures is to reinforce the competitiveness of the Union's agricultural sector.
The specific objectives of the measures on information and promotion are:
- To increase the level of knowledge about the benefits of the agricultural products from the Union and the high standards met by the production methods in the Union;
- To increase the competitiveness and consumption of agricultural products from the Union and also certain food products, and to improve their visibility both inside and outside of the Union;
- To increase the knowledge and renown of the quality systems in the Union;
- To increase the market share of agricultural products and certain food products from the Union, with special attention to the markets for third countries which have the greatest growth potential;
- To restore normal market conditions in the event of serious disturbances of the market, loss of consumer confidence or other specific problems.
The European Seal of Differentiated Quality
This renowned European certification is only awarded to a small and exclusive group of foods that stand out for their quality and authenticity, which guarantees the use of original raw materials and traditional processing methods within a well-defined geographic region.
The following qualities are common to all products with this seal:
- A deep connection to the environment and its ecosystem, inherited from its people, its values, the unique climate and its centuries-old meadows.
- A product that is 100% natural, carefully elaborated, free of artificial additives and preservatives.
- The use of traditional methods of production, cherishing each product and giving it the optimum curing and ageing time in each case. This process involves the closely guarded secret of natural curing that is transmitted from generation to generation.
- Use of quality control systems that are enshrined in the law and ensured by independent inspectors, in addition to those of the PDOs, which are much stricter and which provide an added guarantee of quality and authenticity.
PASTURES, A SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT
Pastureland is an ecosystem deriving from the Mediterranean forests and has a unique microclimate that extends into the provinces of Córdoba, Salamanca, Extremadura, Huelva, the Sierra Norte (Northern Range) of Seville, the foothills of the Sistema Central (Central Massif) in Spain, and the Alentejo and Algarve in Portugal. This exceptional environment has a unique microclimate that involves large atmospheric fluctuations which provide the ideal conditions for rainfall and temperature for curing ham and Iberian pork shoulders. The long, cold winters enable contrasting short salting times of a couple of weeks with the hot, dry summers that enables the fat to permeate the muscles fibre in the ham, which results in a higher quality product with a lower quantity of salt. In this way, a unique product of Iberian ham, with its exceptional qualities for consumption, is produced.