News & Press | Parma Ham Consortium Announces New Production Rules

News & Press | Parma Ham Consortium Announces New Production Rules


The Consorzio Prosciutto di Parma announced new rules governing the production of its world-renowned cured ham. Beginning September 4, 2023, fresh pork legs entering production to become Prosciutto di Parma must meet these standards.

In agreement with all components of the Parma Ham branch, it was time to revise the production documents thirty years after their first drafting to consolidate the protection and enhancement of the product in an evolving social and economic context.

The new specifications pursue four different goals: to lift the quality standards even higher; consolidate its identity and distinctiveness amongst competitors; strengthen guarantees with respect to consumers; confront the challenges posed by the ecological (green) transition.

It is an important choice within the branch, drawing the future lines for Parma Ham when it comes to production, commercialisation, and brand image.

The changes were directed by distinctive elements which have always been under the watching eye of the Consorzio: the characteristics of the raw material from genetics to feeding of pigs, aiming at reduction of the salt content and prolonging the minimum aging period, as well as being open to new technologies and innovation to achieve efficient and sustainable production.

“The protection of the production area, the stability of our branch, and the trust of clients have always fuelled our endeavour to create a unique and recognizable product which reunites heritage and tradition together with the new challenges in sustainability and implementing the European Green Deal. The approval of our new Specifications, proposed by the Consorzio together with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Emilia Romagna Region, makes us extremely proud” says Alessandro Utini, President of the Consorzio.

“The new Production Specifications supply tools to effectively confirm the values of our Protected Designation of Origin, strengthening its distinctiveness and answering adequately to the requests of consumers who, as we have noted with satisfaction, are increasingly aware of their choices. Having recognized the significance of this step forward for the whole branch, we would like to express sincere gratitude towards our Minister of Agriculture, food sovereignty and forestry, Francesco Lollobrigida, to the DG for promotion of agrifood quality of the Ministry of Agriculture, to Mr. Alessio Mammi, regional assessor for agriculture, and to the DG of agrifood quality and promotion of the Region Emilia Romagna for their strategic sharing and effective contribution, aimed at guaranteeing ongoing growth and evolution” says Stefano Fanti, General Manager of the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma.


 To follow are some of the changes introduced in the Specifications:

the minimum curing period of Prosciutto di Parma has been moved from 12 to 14 months whereas the minimum weight moves from 7 to 8.2 kg and the maximum weight to 12.5 kg;

the reduction of the salt content, the higher limit going from a 6,2% to 6%. This is a significant reduction – especially considering the increase of the aging period – which guarantees the healthiness of the product whilst maintaining the same production method.  With regards to this subject we would like to note that, thanks to the correct management of the production process within the companies and the development of  the productive system, over the last years the salt content has been reduced by 10% – in harmony with the WHO recommendations as regards reducing daily intake of sodium – without altering the organoleptic characteristics of  Prosciutto di Parma, on the contrary in many cases ameliorating its quality.

– There are further changes which will have a concrete impact on export, mostly towards Extra-european countries. The positive results of scientific trials caried out on shelf life of pre-sliced packs have allowed for the DMD (date of minimum durability) to be extended.


The changes also have to do with the raw material:

– as regards genetics, the list of the admitted genetic types has been revised and a table explaining the possible combinations of reproductive crossings has been added, to emphasize the use of the heavy Italian pig;

the list of foods to be used on the breeding farms has undergone a significant change. A lot of attention has been given to the provenance of the raw material for the feeding stuffs, because when it comes to a PDO such as Parma, the liaison with the geographical area is essential. Some feeding products from foreign countries have been replaced by produce of the geographical area where pigs are raised to comply with EU requirements.

the breeding farming area for Prosciutto di Parma has been enlarged to include the Region Friuli-Venezia Giulia.


In 2022 approximately 8 million Prosciutti di Parma were branded (33% of these were exported), with a production turnover of €800 million and a sales turnover of €1,6 billion. Prosciutto di Parma production has 3.000 employees in the Parma province, whereas the whole branch, including breeding farms and slaughterhouses, employs around 50.000 people.



Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma
Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma - Largo Calamandrei, 1/A - 43100 Parma - Italy - Phone: 0521.246211 - Fax 0521 243983
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