News & Press | Prosciutto di Parma starts off with a plan to leave the crisis behind

News & Press | Prosciutto di Parma starts off with a plan to leave the crisis behind


Producers committed to promoting consumption, clearing cellars from unsold products and restarting production

The Parma Ham industry implements a package of actions aimed at supporting the production system of the PDO, get over the current downturn and curb damage as much as possible.

Like all the sectors, the Coronavirus pandemic has affected heavily also Parma Ham, to the extent of an overall recorded loss of at least 30% of turnover.


The complete lockdown of the HoReCa channel and the drastic drop of sales at the deli counters have led to a drop in sales of about 35% in Italy and 30% abroad, as Vittorio Capanna, President of the Consortium, stated.

Faced with these huge challenges, we reacted with a 16% production decrease in the first 5 months of the year.  This is obviously not enough to solve all the issues we are dealing with today and that have remarkable repercussions on the other links upstream the production chain.

As producers, we are doing our best to protect our most valuable asset, committed to our work as we have always been and in full agreement with the national and regional authorities.


Acknowledging the Consortium’s request for help, the Government has given a first tangible response in support of Parma Ham including for the first time ever PDO hams amongst the products to be purchased by the public administration as food items intended for the poor in Italy. Agea, the Italian Agricultural Payments Agency, has recently issued a call for public appropriations of 6.5 million Euro to purchase pieces of Parma Ham.  This extremely effective measure is going to take more than 100,000 Parma Hams off the market. To further relieve the pressure on stock, whose critical impact slows down the standard production trend, the Consortium is urging the Ministry to use part of the resources allocated via the DL Rilancio decree as aids to the poor to launch a new call on PDO hams.

To support international markets, especially outside Europe, the Consortium requested and obtained from the Italian Ministry of Agriculture (Mipaaf) a temporary change to the Production Specifications to extend by 30 days the shelf life of pre-sliced Parma Ham. Producers can thus deliver Parma Ham using maritime transport, instead of air transport, which was used because of Covid-19. This decision is fundamental to solve logistic problems, reduce transport costs and prevent product waste.

Producers also hope to be able to carry out a private storage operation in favour of Parma Ham. This operation would have multiple purposes: relieving the commercial pressure at a time of drastic sales drop; generating cash flow to enable production continuity in a sector that is heavily exposed financially; extending maturation, which would have considerable positive effects on the quality of the finished product since a more matured ham features remarkable improvements of its organoleptic characteristics.

The actions undertaken by the Government to support Parma Ham include a promotional activity with the retail sector called “The month of PDO hams” to foster the consumption of top quality hams.

In addition to these actions, the Consortium is coming out with a direct promotion of a new communication strategy to support the consumption of Parma Ham and that indirectly speaks for all high quality Italian products heavily hit in recent months.


We have focused this new communication on the concept of rediscovering normality inside points of sale, especially at the deli counters, where we recorded a significant drop of sales throughout the lockdown, to attract people to buy and restore human relations and trust.

At the same time, it was important to convey a positive message, a message of hope showing our desire to restart, even though with caution and with the necessary precautions, and the desire to take back our lives and daily habits, commented Capanna.


The campaign, entrusted to the McCann communication agency, follows two paths: a commercial with multiple subjects broadcast on television and web, and a project dedicated to points of sale and deli stores designed for social media with the participation of Federico Quaranta.

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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