Parmigiano Reggiano: obligation of packaging in the production area

The latest measure of the production regulation to protect consumers becomes effective.

Reggio Emilia, 02 March 2013 - Following the temporary derogation granted to some operators after the earthquake of May 2012, the last reform introduced by the new Parmigiano-Reggiano production regulation effective since the end of August 2011 entered into force on 1 March 2013. In particular, it is the regulation that establishes that all the cutting and packaging operations for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated and in pieces, with and without rind, shall be carried out exclusively within the area of origin with the aim of guaranteeing quality, traceability and control (the PDO certification activity is performed by the Independent Control Body, OCQ PR).

"An essential measure to increase the protection of consumers – underlines the President of the Protection Consortium, Giuseppe Alai - and that is extremely important because sale and consumption are increasingly more based on pre-packaged cheese in pieces available in large retail channels."

As mentioned above, the regulation was to enter into force at the end of August last year, but national authorities granted a derogation after the earthquake that hit the Emilia region and the Mantua area in May 2012, thus enabling the companies involved to complete the move of equipment and businesses to the production area once the emergency was over.

This – explains the Parmigiano-Reggiano Consortium Director, Riccardo Deserticompletes the implementation of a production regulation that is aimed at further guaranteeing the quality and distinctiveness of the product, and the protection of consumers." "In this respect – continues Desertithe regulations on the tie between product and land (increasing the share of forage produced on farm from 35 to 50%) and, in particular, on the cattle in the production cycle had already entered into force.' 'We have gone far beyond the fact of certifying that milk must come exclusively from farms located within the production area – explains the Consortium Director – but we have defined a "quarantine" period of four months during which the cattle coming from other production chains must be fed with the products established by the regulation (and thus no silage or fermented fodder, of which even possession is banned) and their milk cannot be destined for the production of Parmigiano-Reggiano."

"Today - concludes President Alaimarks the end of the traceability path that had already reached levels of excellence with the introduction of the casein plate that identifies each wheel and the raw material it is made from; the packaging in the production area therefore prevents any form of improper handling of the product and will increase the effectiveness of the actions against the enchroachments and frauds that too often affect Parmigiano-Reggiano."

All the operators who are interested in packaging the cheese in the production area and, in particular, the retailers located outside the area of origin, can find detailed information on the Consortium website and can read the specific circular on the matter: