QUALITY STANDARDS FOR IBERICO MEAT, HAM, SHOULDER AND LOIN

(ROYAL DECREE 4/2014, JANUARY 10)


REGULATION OBJECTIVES:

– Contribute to the maintenance of Ibérico livestock, the essence of Ibérico products, by preserving the level of purity of Iberico pigs.

– Balance stocking rates with the carrying capacity of pastures to ensure adequate feed for grazing.

– Reinforce certification and compliance controls on slaughter age and weight to avoid selling products that are small and that do not meet the minimum quality standards that consumers expect.

–  Provide better information for consumers, by making clear the characteristics of the product sold and by avoiding confusion with the product names.   

– Make product labels clear.

CRITERIA FOR PRODUCT TRADE NAME:

1. FEEDING AND HUSBANDRY:

– In order to emphasize the importance of acorn- fed, feeding and husbandry are in the forefront of brand naming. 

–  There are two major descriptions: acorn-fed (“bellota”) and fodder-fed (“cebo”)

 – In the fodder-fed description it is necessary to make a differentiation between traditional farm fodder and intensive farm fodder, a specific description was created for the first one: “countryside fodder “(“cebo de campo”)

– Stricter standards for raising animals: the definition of feeding and raising are reinforced and made easier to control.  

2. BREED:

– Show the purity of the Iberico animal in the trade name:

* “100% Iberico” will be included when referring to purebred Iberico animals

* In other cases, the percentage of purity must appear on the label, qualified by “% Iberian”

– Record in the Genealogical Book:

* The Breed must be manifested, in all cases, with a “breed certificate” issued by the association that manages the book.

NEW TRADE NAMES:

– There are currently only four trade names which, in the case of ham and shoulder, will be as follows and identified by a tamper-proof seal (the classification “recebo” has been eliminated):

 

  • BLACK: ACORN FED 100% IBERICO HAM
  • RED: ACORN FED IBÉRICO HAM
  • GREEN: COUNTRYSIDE FODDER FED IBERICO HAM
  • WHITE: FODDER FED IBERICO HAM
 

– The percentage of Iberico breed is mandatory on the last three categories. On the first one (100% ibérico), it is part of the trade name.

REVISED LABELLING STANDARDS:

– Use of the full trade name prominently placed next to the brand name and with the same lettering, size, thickness and color will be mandatory.

– Use of terms in advertising and labeling that can mislead consumers is restricted: Images, logotypes, symbols and names associated with acorn or pasture are reserved for the designation “acorn-fed”.   “Pata negra” in particular, can only be used for acorn 100% Ibérico breed products, and “dehesa” and “montanera” will be exclusively used for acorn-fed products.  

REINFORCING THE RULES:

– Farming, slaughterhouses, Inspection and Certification agencies:

• Reinforcing the rules

• Put a tamper-proof seal on pieces, with different colors according to the trade name.

• Participation of Interprofessional Iberian Pig Association (ASICI) in the verification’s systems.

– The Iberian Quality Standard Coordination Board (integrated with institutional representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment and the Autonomous Communities. It shall also collaborate, when so required, with the Interprofessional Iberian Pig Association (ASICI), the Regulatory Boards of the Designation of Origin of the Iberian Pig, the National Accreditation Authority (ENAC) and the bodies that manage the herd books related with the standard.

• National Plan for Quality Control

• Monitoring and evaluating the results of the application of Standards

• Procedures for promoting Standards and Verification Mechanism

TRANSITONIAL PERIODS:

– For products under development at the entry into force of this standard, which are going to be placed on the market, manufacturers can choose one of the following two options:

• Continue selling products under the old standard until stock is depleted.

• Apply names and tamper-proof seal, in accordance with the new standards, on all products sold as of March 1, 2014.

– With regard to other adaptations:

  • 2 years to adapt pre-existing breeders
  • To adapt the use of  “fodder fed”:  3 years to adapt to the new space densities