Italy has made it a legal requirement to indicate the origin of processed meats such as salami, mortadella, hams and culatello on product labelling.
Support authentic Italian products
The aim of the initiative is to support authentic Italian products and "expose the deceit of presenting foreign meat as Italian", said Ettore Prandini, chairman of the Italian farmers' lobby group Coldiretti. According to a survey carried out by that organisation, 82% of Italians prefer home-grown products in order to support the economy and local businesses.
From now on, the product label will have to indicate in detail where the meat comes from, reports ESM. Both the country of birth of the animal and the country (or countries) where it was fattened and finally slaughtered must be indicated. The designation "100% Italian" may therefore only be used for meat derived from pigs born, raised and slaughtered in Italy.
It is estimated that 35 million Italians regularly consume processed meats. There are 5,000 pig farms in southern Europe. According to Coldiretti, three out of four hams sold in Italy are made from foreign meat, without this being mentioned on the label.