Specific products require a specific approach

Amsterdam, December 1st, 2011

Marcello Marchesi

Italy will require a special exemption from the proposed 2018 regulations. This concluded Marcello Marchesi, the representative of ASSOCARNI at the international conference ‘Boars heading for 2018’.

Italy is producing heavy pigs, especially for their Parma ham, a PDO product that has to meet specific requirements. Various research has been done to find solutions, Marchesi said. But at this moment there is no solution for boars that are raised for Parma ham.

Italy is producing heavy and expensive pigs for their famous Parma ham. The Parma ham is a PDO product (Protected Designation of Origin). The governing body IPQ (Instituto Parma Qualitá) has set specifications to make the difference between the Parma ham and non Parma ham. Parma ham is one of the oldest and most well-known characteristic products of Italy, like pasta, pizza and Parmagiano cheese.

Marchesi, the representative of the Italian meat industry association ASSOCARNI, explained to the audience that various field trials have been carried out in Italy. Amongst others immunocastration. The meat quality however was in the end too lean for Parma ham production and the specifications did not meet the IPQ requirements. Up till now no solutions were found in the nutritional area, nor in genetics. Marcello Marchesi mentioned that at the moment genetics research is carried out that could lead to interesting results.

For the moment, however, Marchesi concluded: ,,Italy produces the heaviest pigs in the world. Sexual maturity occurs at least three months before the typical Italian slaughter weight. Immunocastration will improve productivity, but has undesirable negative side effects for Parma ham production. Italy will require a special exemption from the proposed 2018 regulations.”

 About Marcello Marchesi

Marcello Marchesi works in the Martini Group, a large integrated company with interests in feed, pigs, poultry and rabbit production. The pig production at Martini amounts to 550.000 pigs per year.

Marcello Marchesi was born and educated in England. He worked at the Meat and Livestock Commission as a pig specialist officer in Yorkshire and Scotland. In 1988 Marcello moved to Italy. At the international conference ‘Boars heading for 2018’ Marchesi is representing Assocarni, the national association representing the Italian meat industry.