On 8th January 2009, The Consortium for the protection of Zibello DOP Culatello was founded in order to protect and improve quality and representativeness of this product, which holds the EU Protected Designation of Origin (P.O.D.) Status. Culatello is a real gem of Italian traditional art of processing cold salted meat: for this reason, producers commit themselves every day to certify its origin, as well as the ancient recipe and the authentic tradition because only few places in the flatland along the Po River are licensed to produce it (Busseto, Polesine Parmense, Zibello, Soragna, Roccabianca, San Secondo, Sissa, Colorno).
The consortium unites all 22 companies which are licensed to produce Culatello di Zibello DOP and in 2010 it obtained the official recognition by MIPAAF (Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Environment Policy), which increases and strenghtens the activity of protection and promotion of the Culatello di Zibello.
Under a strict regulation and firm quality controls kept by the Parma Quality Institute (which is the instutution charged by the Ministry to control the production), the Consortium assures with its brand the traditional workmanship, an adequate aging and the exclusive Italian origin of the meat, in order to certify to the consumer that the Culatello di Zibello which holds the brand of the Consortium respects traditions and has been made “the old-fashioned way”.
The products controlled by the Consortium have to be entirely hand-made. Furthermore, in order to maintain quality, only hind legs of pigs born and raised in the counties of Emilia Romagna and Lombardy are allowed to be used.
According to the rules established by the Consortium, every piece of Culatello produced by one of the associated company must bear the brand of the Consortium. This brand represents a pig, symbol of the ancient tradition of processing valued pork's cold cuts.
Actually, the brand is the symbol of the new association and at the same time it represents the founding producers' tradition and desire to take up the challenge to protect the original Culatello di Zibello DOP from fakes and to spread the very elements which give the merit of this Designation of Protected Origin.