Italian pig industry suffers from ham crisis
The Italian pig industry is going through a deep crisis as feed prices
cause higher production costs, which hits the traditional Parma ham industry
extra hard, the Dutch agricultural newspaper Agrarisch Dagblad
Pigs reared for Parma ham production are being slaughtered at a minimum of
nine months and weigh about 160 kg - hence cost prices of this industry are
about 20% higher than conventional pig production.
known for their preference for high-quality foods, are now being said to shift
to different, cheaper varieties of 'prosciutto', as they call ham in
Parma hams are being sold in Rome for about €24/kg, but prices can
raise up to €50. Exports are about 20% and rising only
Giandomenico Gusmaroli, chairman of the
Italian union of pig producers (ANAS), said: "The quick growth in feed and
energy prices have led to an eruption in an already critical situation. Our
products with traceability guarantees - our pride - hardly yield any profit and
production legislation makes it even more difficult."
Ham production used
to make the difference for producers, and other pork could be sold as
by-products. Nowadays, however, profit margins on hams have gone, Gusmaroli
These other pork products should be sold against better
prices, he said.
Italy is a net importer of pork and pigs as in 2007, the
country imported 967,000 tonnes of pork and 785,000 piglets.
â€¢ ANAS (in Italian)
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