Iberian Ham is much more than just food: it’s tradition, quality, traceability, sustainability and, of course, flavour. A culinary icon that has transcended the limits of gastronomy to become a cultural symbol. The best example of the balance between respect for the environment and sustainable use of natural resources. This unique product has its origins in pastures, fields and farms. It is linked to rural environments, to the Mediterranean Diet, to its people and to ancestral practices that form part of the tradition of an entire culture, for whom Iberian Ham is much more than just a product: it’s a concept, a way of understanding life, a passion.
Its bright red colour, characterised by its marbling that is unique to the Iberian breed, has conquered cities such as London, Berlin, Paris and Mexico City thanks to the “Ham Passion Tour: Ham, the Passion of Europe” campaign, launched by the Interprofessional Association of the Iberian Pig (ASICI) with the support of the European Union. Thanks to these types of initiatives, Iberian Ham continues to cross borders, reaching all kinds of consumers who are becoming increasingly familiar with the labelling system and the categories of Iberian Ham.
With the help of ASICI, the Iberian Ham sector launched ÍTACA (Identification, Traceability and Quality System), a digital system that keeps track of the complete traceability of Iberian products, “from the field to the table”. The aim of this system is to transmit absolute transparency and provide the consumer with confidence as they make their purchase.
The traceability system assigns each piece with a mandatory, unique and individual seal, which guarantees that it is Iberian Ham based on the breed (100% Iberian, 75% or 50% Iberian) and the diet (bellota, cebo de campo and cebo). Just by consulting the Iberian Quality Standard seal (Norma de Calidad del Ibérico) with the ASICI logo, and its colour, the consumer can find out what category of Iberian Ham they are buying – there’s no room for doubt. The Iberian Hams or shoulder hams (paletas) will carry any one of these four seals. Four seals, four colours, four categories of Iberian Ham*.
The Black Seal, for the 100% Iberian Bellota Ham, the Red Seal for the 75% or 50% Iberian Bellota Ham, the Green Seal for the Cebo de Campo Iberian Ham and the White Seal for the Jamón de Cebo Iberian Ham.
For this purpose, ASICI has also developed a revolutionary app, IBÉRICO, which allows consumers to view the traceability of the pieces and check that they comply with current regulations when they scan the unique, individual barcode contained in each seal. The app is completely free and is available for IOS (Apple) and Android (Google).
These initiatives provide complete transparency and confidence to the consumer when they make their purchase and position Iberian Ham as a leader in terms of quality assurance, transparency and trust.
* Among the Iberian products in the market, there are those with Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) in Spain, whose Hams and Shoulder Hams [Paletas] are identified with their own seals, always using the same colours for each category, and whose traceability is managed by the PDOs themselves.