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Prosciutto di Parma: the Consortium turns 60

On 18 April 1963, twenty-three producers set up on a voluntary basis approved the statute

2023 marks a particularly significant moment for the Prosciutto di Parma Consortium, which reaches the milestone of 60 years since its foundation. It was 4 in the afternoon on Thursday 18 April 1963, when, at the Parma Chamber of Commerce, 23 producers set up, on a private and voluntary basis, the Prosciutto di Parma Consortium and approved its Statute, united by the conviction that working together they could have achieved a more effective safeguard and valorisation of their typical product.

The pride in a unique all-Italian excellence, the result of a know-how handed down from generation to generation and of the inseparable bond with a small territory in the province of Parma, had convinced them of the need to defend and preserve the traditional method of processing the product , identifying the ducal crown branded on the rind as a guarantee of authenticity. This was the principle that prompted them to found a protection organization, which over time would become an international point of reference in the field of protection of typical products.

Prosciutto di Parma, which already had millenary roots, well anchored in the gastronomic history of our country, at that time began a journey marked by some significant milestones: in 1970, the enactment of the law containing the "Regulations relating to the protection of the denomination of origin of Prosciutto di Parma”, which gave producers the tools to combat fraud and unfair competition (amended in 1990 with an updated version); in 1978 the public task attributed to the Consortium by the competent Ministries to supervise the observance of the protection regulations; on 12 June 1996 the registration by the European Union of the protected designation of origin (PDO) "Prosciutto di Parma", which had as its purpose the Community protection of the product, an essential element in the context of the constant expansion of foreign target markets .

The comparison between the current image of the Consortium and the testimony that time gives us of that historic moment provides a framework in which 60 years of history can be recognized. There are currently 134 companies, and each of them manages to express its identity on the product in full compliance with the production rules, while there are a hundred foreign countries to which Prosciutto di Parma is exported: numbers that show the evolution and transformation of the market, with the ever new challenges that this entails.

"Sixty years later, the operation carried out by that group of 23 Prosciutto di Parma producers does not lose the exceptional and innovative character that had marked it from the beginning; on the contrary, in an inevitably changed context, the choice lucid and forward-looking to join forces to defend and promote the uniqueness of the product is confirmed as constantly topical and gives us the responsibility of protecting the future of the generations that will take up our baton", comments Alessandro Utini, president of the Consortium.

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