Parmigiano-Reggiano: Amendments to the Regulation Approvved, More Protection for Consumers

EU green light to the new regulation with packaging to be carried out exclusively in the production area, “quarantine” of four months for cattle coming from other production chains, increase from 35 to 50% of share of farm grown forage and other changes.

Reggio Emilia, 14 December 2010  “With this deed we further enrich the series of actions aimed at giving more stability to our sector, but it is especially a decisive step towards strengthening the protection of consumers, thanks to the additional checks on the production chain and, finally, also on the product packaging phase”.

This was the first comment by the Chairman of the Parmigiano-Reggiano Consortium, Giuseppe Alai, a few minutes after the favourable opinion expressed by the EU Standing Committee on PDOs/PGIs on the new production regulation.

“A result – added Alai achieved after a lengthy procedure that started thanks to the commitment of our members and to the work of the Directorate General on Agriculture of the Agriculture Commission of the European Union and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies”.

The three changes, that are particularly interesting for consumers, were approved with the only vote against by Belgium.

The first change refers to the packaging of the product that will have to take place within the area of origin: outside the production area, the product shall be packed exclusively at the point of sale.

“This rule – explained the Consortium’s Director Leo Bertozziis aimed at preventing any improper handling of the product to the exclusive benefit of consumers and an increasingly more effective supervision and protection action”.

 The same applies to the change on the production of milk for Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese: the cattle coming from other production chains (foreign countries, drinking milk or other cheeses) shall spend four months in “quarantine” before their milk is used in dairies; during this period of time the cattle shall be fed in compliance with the feed regulation adopted by the Protection Consortium.

“This is an important cautionary measure - Bertozzi states to prevent the introduction in the Parmigiano-Reggiano chain of cattle that may have been fed with products excluded or banned by the regulation, such as for example silage, of which both the use and the storage on farms is prohibited”.

The third innovation refers to the increase of the share of forage that shall be grown inside the individual farms from 35 to 50%.

“The tie between product, land and individual farm – underlines President Alai becomes even tighter: although the percentage of forage coming from the production area remains unchanged at 75%, the level of self-sufficiency of farms that undertake an even greater commitment towards quality, its protection and enhancement”.
“The Consortium - Alai concludeshas now the task of accompanying and supporting companies in applying these reforms, which are the result of a joint and responsible work by Parmigiano-Reggiano producers to the benefit of all consumers worldwide”.

“The Consortium - Alai concludes – has now the task of accompanying and supporting companies in applying these reforms, which are the result of a joint and responsible work by Parmigiano-Reggiano producers to the benefit of all consumers worldwide”.

Finally, here are the other amendments to the regulation that will enter into force when published in the European Union Official Journal (in about two months): on farms breeding calves, heifers up to the 6th month of pregnancy and milking caws, the use and storage of any type of silage is forbidden; milk cannot undergo centrifugation; a second use of the same vats on the same day for cheese making shall be limited to 15% of the milk processed.