Full English translation of the Quality Norm regulating the production of iberico products
This is a free translation of a Spanish Law regulating the production of iberico products which intends to transmit the content as literally and precisely as possible. However, it is not an official translation as should not be considered at such.
A summary of the content that it is considered to be more relevant for people and companies dealing with this type of products is also available at another post. However, because of the many questions on different aspects that have been asked by clients and other colleagues, it was decided that a full version could be of help for consultation purposes.
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I. GENERIC DISPOSITIONS
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND ENVIRONMENT
Royal Decree 4/2014, January 10th, by which the Quality Norm for meat, ham, shoulder and iberico loin is approved.
The Royal Decree 1083/2001, October 5th, by which the Quality norm for iberico ham, iberico shoulder and iberico loin produced in Spain was approved, had as its aim to define the quality features and labelling of iberico products on the marketplace.
Since the approval of such Royal Decree a number of modifications took place, and diverse ministerial orders were approved for its development, causing a normative dispersal, that made advisable to put together the current texts into a single Norm.
Because of the above the Royal Decree 1469/2007 was published, by which the Quality Norm for meat, ham, shoulder and iberico loins was approved.
This Norm extended its remit to products coming from the quartering of the carcasses commercialize as fresh meat. It also extended the typology of products that could be labelled as iberico considering factors linked to the feeding of animals.
On the other hand it introduced the list of municipal areas where the woodland “dehesas” can be considered apt for the feeding of iberico pigs with the denomination of “bellota” (acorn-fed)
Added to the above, the norm intended to strengthen the control mechanisms via the strengthening of the dispositions regarding the jurisdiction of the Independent Control Bodies.
Finally, the Iberico Body was set up, to carry on with the monitoring, harmonization and development of everything related to the Iberico Quality Norm.
After 5 years have passed certain imbalances caused by that norm have come to light within the productive sector, such as the diminution of the census and production of the pure iberico breed and of the extensive systems of production linked to the “dehesa”, which indicates the convenience of elaborating a new norm on the matter.
Some difficulties have also been detected in relation with the acceptance and knowledge of products by consumers, caused by an excessive variety in names on labels, which can induce the consumer to errors. On this matter, it has been brought to light the use of part of the product names with inadequate font and size letters, and a random distribution of the labelling content in a way that cause the consumer to be unable to effectively distinguish the actual products, when the differences between the different designations are very relevant, confusion that causes, apart from the fraud to the consumer, an unfair competition between producers that is necessary to stop.
It has also been confirmed that there is some use of trademarks, logos, images and optional mentions that bring to mind or refer to products whose names do not correspond to the product actually sold. This aspect has caused a great deal of confusion among consumers, who believe they are buying a product linked to the “dehesa”, when, in reality, they are buying a product from an animal that has never been on such ecosystem.
The new Quallity Norm intends to correct all of the above issues, and therefore it has been required to introduce terms in relation with the labelling which, in an exceptional way, help to facilitate the distinction between the different designations for the consumers of iberico products, notwithstanding the compliance of the general regulation on labelling and food information.
It has also been considered adequate to strengthen the traceability system, traditionally established under a self-control system by the producers themselves, which adds in this new norm the sealing of pieces at the slaughterhouse, being these seals assigned by the Iberico Pork Trade Body (ASICI)
In summary, it has been considered necessary to modify a number of aspects that are listed below:
An important aspect is the necessity of improving the racial purity of the animals whose products are sold under the Quality Norm, since the use of reproductive animals which are not registered within the Genealogical Book of Iberico Pigs to mix with other breeds could put in jeopardy the genetic patrimony that the iberico pig represents.
With regards to the productive models, it has been brought to light the need to modify the handling and feeding conditions of animals within the different models, and the need to reduce the authorised number of animals that can use the “dehesa”, to avoid a potential damage to the ecosystem.
Regarding the animals fed with acorns, it is intended to strengthen the control system during this phase of Montanera with the individual identification of each animal, and substituting the list of municipalities in which there are “Dehesas” by the requirement that every area used for the feeding of iberico pigs apt to be labelled as “bellota” is identified within the “Capa de Montanera” (“Montanera Layer”) of the Geographical Information System of Agricultural Parcels’ (SIGPAC) including the control of the existing Surface of the land covered by trees, with the aim of ensuring that the feeding of the animals is based only on the natural resources available, and also to contribute to the improvement of such ecosystem.
In relation with animals that are fed with prepared food (fodder fed), it is required to establish regulatory dispositions, which refer both to the facilities as to the breeding and handling of the animals, with the aim of improving the quality of the products. Another novelty mentioned already above is the dispositions to improve the traceability and control, such as the sealing of pieces on the slaughterhouses with unbreakable seals which should identify the breeding and feeding system used for each animal.
In relation to the supervision of the compliance with all measures established in the quality norm, the Coordination Body for the Iberico Quality Norm is reinforced, as a working group, in which the competent Authorities will be coordinated in order to guarantee the fulfilment of the conditions established by the norm all along the productive process. This organisation will have the help of the Iberico Pork Trade Body (ASICI), the Regulatory Bodies of the Protected Denominations of Origin for iberico products and the associations that manage the Genealogical Books.
Added to the above, clearer and stricter requisites are established in relation with the labelling, with the aim of improving the information to the end consumers. On this matter, it has been considered essential to give to the end consumer, through the labelling, the knowledge of the different products available on the marketplace in relation to the percentage of the iberico breed of the animal which the product comes from. The conditions by which this information will be given has the favourable opinion of the European Union and are aligned with the new EU rules established in rule (UE) n.º 1169/2011 from the EU Parliament and Council, October 25th, regarding food information given to the end consumer.
Therefore, there will be limitations on the use of certain mentions, logos, images, draws, acronyms, trademarks or emblems which could cause confusion to the end consumer regarding the product they are about to purchase, above all to avoid causing confusion between products coming from pigs that have used the “dehesa” and its acorns from those coming from pigs fed with prepared food (fodder fed).
This royal decree has been submitted to consultation to the Autonomous Communities and sectors affected by it, and has been informed by the Inter-Ministerial Commission for Food Management.
It has also been subjected to the information procedure in relation with technical norms and regulations and of regulations related to the information society services, as established on EU Directive 98/34/CE from the European Parliament and Council, June 22nd, and to the Royal Decree 1337/1999, July 31st, by which the referral of information relating to technical norms and regulations and regulations related to the information society services, which adds this norm to the Spanish jurisdictional system, is regulated.
By virtue of and proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, with the preliminary approval of the Finance and Public Administration Ministry, according to the State Council and with prior deliberation of the Council of Ministers on its meeting on January 10th 2014, I
Article 1 Aim
This royal decree has as its aim to establish the quality characteristics that must fulfil the products coming from the quartering of iberico pigs carcasses, that are elaborated and commercialised as fresh meat, and of hams, shoulders and iberico loins produced or commercialised in Spain, in order to use the commercial names established on this norm, notwithstanding the compliance with the general norms that applies to them.
Products elaborated in Portugal will also be admitted, based on agreements signed by the authorities of Spain and Portugal regarding the production, elaboration, commercialization and control of iberico products.
On the other hand those products under a European recognised Quality label (Protected Denomination of Origen or Protected Geographical Indication) which intend to use the commercial names considered under the present norm, or under any of its terms, must comply with what it is established by it.
Article 2. Definitions.
For the purposes of this royal decree, it will be understood by:
a) Carcass, it is the body of a sacrificed adult pig, bled and eviscerated, whole or cut by the middle, without tongue, hair, genital organs, lard, kidneys or diaphragm.
b) Ham is the product elaborated with the hinder limb, cut at the ischiopubic symphysis, with bone and leg, which includes the full musculoskeletal piece, coming from adult pigs, subjected to the pertinent salting and curing-aging processes.
c) Shoulder is the product elaborated with the forelimb, cut at the level of the scaplahumerus articulation to the humerus radial, with the hand and bone, which includes the full musculoskeletal piece, coming from adult pigs, subjected to the pertinent salting and curing-aging processes.
d) “Caña de Lomo” (“Cane of Loin”) is the product elaborated with the muscular bundle formed by the spinal and semi-spinal muscles from the thorax, and the longissumus, lumbar and thoratic muscles from the pig, almost absent of external fat, aponeurosis and tendons, marinated and stuffed in natural casing or artificial wrapping, which has gone through an adequate drying-curing process.
Within this definition other denominations such as “Loin” and “Stuffed Loin” are included, since they are geographical adaptations to that name.
e) “Exploitation Lot Number” is the group of animals belonging to the same farm and homogeneous in terms of age and genetic racial factors. For the purposes of this norm, it will be understood as homogeneity in relation to age those animals with a difference in age smaller than 30 days.
f) “Feeding Lot” is the group of animals which are on the same farm, homogeneous in relation to their genetic racial factors, feeding and handling.
g) “Slaughtering Lot” is the group of animals belonging to the same Feeding Lot, slaughtered on the same day and in the same establishment.
h) “Products Lot” is the group of pieces obtained from within a unique Slaughtering Lot. In the case of loin pieces with equal racial factor, feeding and handling, processed at the same time, they can be grouped together within a single product batch.
i) “Dehesa”, is the geographical area with preponderance of an agroforestry system of use and management of the land based mainly on the exploitation of cattle, in an extensive way, of a homogeneous grassland and Mediterraneam woodland surface, occupied mainly by thick trees of the Quercus species, in which is the action of the human being for its conservation and durability is apparent, with a density of trees, at least, of 10 productive trees per hectare.
j) Density of trees is the percentage of land covered by all the tree tops from the Quercus species of the SIGPAC area.
k) “Montanera” is the feeding regime of animals, based on the use of the acorn resources and grassland typical of the dehesa in Spain and Portugal.
l) “Montanera Layer” from SIGPAC, is the group of plots and areas identified within the Geographical Information System of Agricultural Parcels (SIGPAC) for the whole of Spain, and validated by the competent Authority within each Autonomous Community as apt for the feeding of animals whose products are to be marketed with the mention “bellota” as established in the present Royal Decree.
m) Operator, is the physical or juridical person who intervenes in any of the production phases, transformation, commercialization, including distribution and re-labelling, responsible to ensure that their products comply with the requisites in the Quality Norm, and who, therefore, should establish a self-control procedure for the operations under their responsibility.
n) Competent Authority, are the responsible institutions within the Autonomous Communities.
ñ) Inspection Bodies and Certification Bodies are those as defined, respectively, on parts c) and e) from article 19 of law 21/1992, July 16th, of Industry.
o) Salting is the addition of salt to the muscular mass to facilitate its dehydration and favour its conservation.
p) Washing is the washing of pieces when the salting process ends, with warm water to eliminate the salt stuck to the piece.
q) Post-salting or settling is the process by which superficial humidity of hams or shoulders is taken out, slowly and gradually.
r) Curing-ageing, for the effects of this norm, is the treatment of stuffed products, raw-marinated and meat salted in adequate environmental conditions to cause, with a slow and gradual reduction of the humidity, the evolution of the natural fermentation or enzymatic processes required to give the product the characteristic organoleptic features and to guarantee its stability during the commercialization process.
s) Marinating, for this norm, is the adding of salt, spices or condiments.
For the purpose of this regulation, the definitions in article 2 of the Royal Decree 2129/2008, December 26th, by which it is established the National Program for the conservation, improvement and promotion of farm livestock apply here.
Commercial Names and Labelling
Article 3. Commercial Name.
1. The commercial name for the products regulated under this Royal Decree is compulsory created by the addition of three designations, which must coincide in their gender and appear in the order specified below (n.t: this order applies in Spanish):
a) Designation by type of product:
i) For finished products: Ham, shoulder, loin.
ii) For the products obtain from the quartering of the carcass, marketed as fresh meat: designation of the piece following the denominations on the market, and their different presentations and commercial formats.
b) Designation according to the feeding and handling:
i) «De bellota» («Acorn-fed»): For products coming from pigs which have been slaughtered immediately after their use, solely, of the acorns, grass and other natural resources of the “dehesa”, without addition of any prepared food (fodder food), which have been handled under the conditions mentioned in article 6. ii) For products coming from pigs whose feeding and handling, until they reach the slaughtering weight, are not contemplated within the above point i), the following denominations will be used:
1. «De cebo de campo» («Countryside Fodder fed»): For animals that, even if they could have used the resources from the land or the dehesa, have been fed with prepared food, based on cereals and leguminous, and whose handling takes place in extensive farming, or intensive in the open (it is possible that part of the surface is under cover), considering on this respect what is stated in article 7.
2. «De cebo» (“Fodder fed”): In the case of animals fed with prepared food, based on cereals and leguminous, whose handling takes place in intensive farming, as stated on article 8.
c) Designation by racial type:
i) «100% iberico»: When the products come from animals with 100 % genetic purity of iberico breed, whose parents are also with 100 % genetic purity of iberico breed and are registered in the correspondent genealogical book.
ii) «Iberico»: When the products come from animals with at least 50 % of its genetic percentage from the iberico pork breed, with parents of the following characteristics:
To obtain animals with a 75 % proportion of iberico mothers of 100 % iberico breed, registered in the genealogical book, and fathers coming from the crossbreed of a 100 % iberico mother and 100 % duroc father will be used, both registered in the correspondent genealogical book for the breed.
To obtain animals of a 50 % iberico breed mothers of 100 % iberico breed, and fathers of 100 % duroc breed will be used, both registered in the pertinent genealogical book for the breed.
The justification of the racial factor of parents will be made through a “Racial Certificate” issued by the pertinent association officially recognised for the management of genealogical books. In the case of crossbred males used to obtain animals with 75 % iberico breed, the procedure to justify the racial factor will be decided by the Coordination Body for the Iberico Quality Norm.
The verification of the racial factor of animals intended for slaughtering to obtain iberico products will be done by an inspection body recognised by the National Body of Accreditation.
On the labelling of products it will be compulsory to include the genetic percentage of the iberico pork breed, following the stipulations stated in article 4.4
2. For products obtained from the quartering of the carcass and which are commercialise as fresh meat, the designation regarding the type of feeding and handling is optional, and it will be used only when the traceability of the piece or its commercial presentation allows the identification of the corresponding feeding lot.
3. The designations mentioned on point i) will apply for portions of products regulated under the present norm. By portion it will be understood any fraction or part obtained by the slicing or portioning of any of the products obtained from the quartering of the carcass which are commercialise as fresh meat, and also of the portions or slices of ham, shoulder and loins, once cured.
4. The racial, feeding and handling denominations will exclusively apply to products elaborated under the present norm which satisfy the conditions established by it.
5. Commercial Names will be assigned based on the data obtain from the report, issued by the inspection bodies, which must be with the animal when it arrives to the slaughterhouse.
Article 4. Labelling.
1. The labelling of products coming under this norm must comply with the rules as stated in the labelling for food products regulations that are applicable to them. Notwithstanding the legislation on food information for the consumer, on labels, invoices, transport documents, publicity, leaflets and posters on the point of sale, and also on promotional or marketing actions, the full Commercial Name of the products coming under the scope of this norm must appear, on whole pieces, portions or slices for ham, shoulder and loin, or steaks or portions of products coming from the quartering of carcasses which are commercialized as fresh meat, in concordance with the denominations established on article 3 of the present Royal Decree.
2. The incomplete use of the Commercial Name is forbidden, and so the addition of different terms from those mentioned on article 3, or the use in isolation of any of the terms which are part of them, apart from the name of the product, both for the products regulated under this norm as for those outside its scope. This prohibition does not apply to iberico products regulated by the Quality norm for meat products.
3. The names which form the Commercial Names, as defined in article 3 of the present Royal Decree, must be placed on a prominent place, and, in any case, within the same visual field as the commercial brand, printed with the same letter font, size, thickness and colour, in all its parts.
4. Apart from the Commercial Name, products regulated under this norm, with the exception of fresh meat, must include as part of the label the following compulsory mentions:
a) For products coming from animals whose designation by racial type is not “100 % iberico” the percentage of the iberico breed of the animal origin of the products will be mentioned with the expression “% iberico breed”. This information must appear very close to the product denomination, using a size font with at least 75 % of the height of the denomination of the product, and not with a size smaller than the one required by the article 13, part 2, of the (EU) N.º 1169/2011 rule.
b) The expression “Certified by” followed by the name of the Independent Organism of Control or its acronyms.
This expression must be placed on the label close to the Commercial Name and in a visible manner.
5. The following optional mentions or expressions can be used on labels and promotional or marketing activities:
– «Pata negra», which applies exclusively to the designation “Acorn fed 100% Iberico”, and which complies with the conditions established in article 3.
– «Dehesa» or «montanera», which exclusively applies to the designation “acorn fed”, under the conditions established in article 3.
6. As part of the labelling and publicity of products, the names, logos, images, pictures, symbols or optional mentions which bring to mind or allude in any way to any aspect related to or referred to “acorn” or “dehesa” are reserved in exclusivity to the denomination “ “acorn-fed”. It is forbidden the use of the terms “recebo” or “iberico puro” (“pure iberico”).
7. The Brand assigned to the end product will not cause confusion to the end consumer, regarding the breeding characteristics, the feeding or handling conditions, both as part of the name of the Brand itself, or its graphic image.
Obtaining of the raw material
Article 5. Identification of animals and register of farm census within the General Registry of Farms (REGA)
1. Notwithstanding the dispositions of the Royal Decree 205/1996, February 9th, by which it is established the identification system and register of animals from the bovine, porcine, ovine and caprine species, the farm operator will identify each animal, before weaning them, with a reliable and secure system, which mentions, at least, the exploitation lot number. The operator must keep traceability during the whole life of the animal, in a way that allows the formation of homogenous lots relating to the breed, weight and age. Afterwards, once the feeding lots are created, they must be registered in a traceability register created in order to guarantee the traceability of lots within the reach of the present norm. The documentation which shows the connection between the feeding lot and exploitation lot must be kept.
The identification must be kept for the whole life of the animal, and it will be possible to trace it during all the elaboration and commercialization phases for the products under the scope of this norm. In case an animal loses the identification for the exploitation lot from birth, or at any of the intermediary exploitations, it will not be required to replace it, if it has been identified with the feeding lot from the farm where it is, and the origin of the lot is reflected on the traceability books of the farm.
2. In all cases, in the “census” part of the General Registry of Farms (REGA), which corresponds to farms that have animals that will be used to obtain products coming under the scope of this decree, it must be shown the indication “Iberico Pork Breed and their crossbreeding” for the different animal categories.
Article 6. Handling conditions for animals whose products will be designated as “de bellota” (“acorn fed”).
1. Plots, parcels, and areas used for the feeding of animals whose products are to be commercialised with the mention “de bellota” (“acorn-fed”), must be identified in the “montanera layer” (capa montanera) included within the Geographical Information System of Agricultural Parcels (SIGPAC), established in the Royal Decree 2128/2004, October 29th, by which it is regulated the geographical information system of farms areas, according to the designations established in the present Royal Decree.
2. The use of the resources of the dehesa during montanera time must take place considering the tree-covered area of the land or parcel and the maximum number of animals admissible which is mentioned on the annex to this Royal Decree, levelled down, if required, on the basis of the availability of acorns of any particular year, previously to the arrival of animals.
3. The arrival of the animals to the montanera will take place between October 1st and December 15th, and the period for slaughtering will be between December 15th and March 31st.
4. The minimum requirements that animals will need to comply with, regarding age and weight, are:
– The average weight when arriving at montanera, for the lot, will be between 92 and 115 kgs.
– The minimum weight the animals must gain will be of 46 kgs, and they need to stay for at least 60 days.
– The minimum wage at slaughtering will be of 14 months.
– The minimum individual weight of the carcass will be of 115 kgs, except for 100 % iberico pigs, which will be of 108 kgs.
Article 7. Handling conditions for animals whose products will be designated as «de cebo de campo» («Countryside Fodder fed»)
1. Animals will be fed at extensive farms that must comply with the requisites established in the Royal Decree 1221/2009, July 17th, by which it is established the basic rules for the exploitation of extensive porcine farms, and which modifies the Royal Decree 1547/2004, June 25th, by which the norms that apply to rabbit farming are established.
2. Animals could also be fed at intensive exploitations for cebo (Fodder fed) in the open, which could have part of their surface under cover, which must comply with the requisites established by the Royal Decree 324/2000, March 3rd, by which the basic norms for the exploitation of pig farms are established. In reference to the breeding conditions, notwithstanding what is established at the Royal Decree 1135/2202, October 31st, related to the minimum requirements for the well-being of pigs, production animals with more than 110 kg of life weight must have a minimum surface of free space per animal of 100 m2, in the cebo (Fodder fed) stage.
3. The minimum period is such exploitations, previous to them being slaughtered, will be of 60 days.
4. The minimum age at slaughtering will be of 12 months of age.
5. The minimum individual weight of the carcass will be of 115 kgs, except for 100 % iberico pigs, which will be of 108 kgs.
Article 8. Handling conditions for animals whose products will be designated as («Fodder fed»)
1. notwithstanding what is established at the Royal Decree 1135/2202, October 31st, related to the minimum requirements for the well-being of pigs, production animals with more than 110 kg of life weight from which products designated as “de cebo” (“Fodder fed”) will come from, they must have a minimum free floor space per animal of 2 m2, in the cebo stage.
2. The minimum age at slaughtering will be of 12 months of age.
3. The minimum individual weight of the carcass will be of 115 kgs, except for 100 % iberico pigs, which will be of 108 kgs.
Identification and traceability of products
Article 9. Identification of carcasses and branding of pieces.
1. After slaughtering, the individual carcasses will be weighted at the slaughterhouse, using a reliable and not open to manipulation scale, de-qualifying those that do not comply with the minimum weight, established in this Royal Decree, according to the racial type of the animals. The slaughterhouse will be responsible for the verification of the minimum weight and of the de-qualification of carcasses that do not comply with them, and will leave records in its traceability registry, issuing a report for each slaughtering lot too, with the number of apt and non-apt carcasses.
The Coordination Body for the Iberico Quality Norm will proceed to establish a protocol for the control of the weighting systems used at slaughterhouses.
2. Furthermore, at the slaughterhouse, before taking apart the heads of animals, the carcasses will be individually identified with the code of the slaughtering date, which will relate unequivocally, at the traceability register of the slaughterhouse, with the animal codes or the feeding lot, or fraction of a feeding lot, included.
3. At the slaughterhouse the hams and shoulders of each product lot obtained from animals sacrificed from the moment the present Royal Decree comes into force, will be identified with an unbreakable seal with a colour code linked to the different sales denominations:
– Black: acorn fed 100 % iberico
– Red: acorn fed iberico
– Green: Countryside Fodder fed iberico
- White: Fodder fed iberico
Such seal will include, in an indelible and perfectly legible manner, an individual and unique number for the piece, with a size big enough to be legible, in such a way that they are linked, within the traceability registers, with the carcass or half carcass where it comes from within the slaughtering lot. These seals will be assigned to the carcasses that comply with the requisites for each designation by the Iberico Pork Trade Body (ASICI), who will have the capacity to examine at the slaughterhouse the correct placement on the pieces and who will keep the record of placed seals, delivered and used. ASICI will periodically inform the competent authorities at the corresponding Autonomous Community where the pieces or carcasses are destined to for its elaboration, of all incidences that might have occurred during that period.
In the particular case of products coming under a Protected Denomination of Origin or Protected Geographical Indication which use the selling designations established in the present norm, they will be able to use their own seals, as long as they use the same colours and mentions established by the norm, and the rest of requisites and conditions mentioned in the current article.
The seals will be kept with the pieces at all times, including points of sale and catering establishments, and no other seal will be added, by any operator or third party, unless they comply with the colour code and designations, in case they are included, referred to in this norm.
4. For the products obtained from the quartering of the carcass that are commercialize as fresh meat, the identification must appear on a label stuck to the product packaging which will contain, also, the selling designation of the product.
5. For loins a first identification at the quartering room will be made, and later on it will be branded or identified, in an unbreakable, indelible and perfectly legible manner, once it has been marinated and stuffed within its casing, in such a way that the traceability of the piece is guaranteed, conforming to the color code which corresponds to the seals for the hams and shoulders of the corresponding selling designation.
6. Product coming from the quartering of the carcass, in steaks or in portions must come from homogeneous lots with regards to the breed, and will be identified at the packaging with a label in which an identification number must appear, by which it will be guaranteed its traceability and the selling designation of the product.
Final products (elaborated) commercialized in slices or portions must come from homogenous lots with regards to breed and feeding, and will have a label stuck to the packaging, of the same colour code as the seal from which they come from, where there will be an identification number which can be traced and which guarantees its traceability and selling designation of the product.
7. The de-qualification of the carcass, the lack of identification, its illegibility or the impossibility to relate the pieces, portions, slices or steaks, with the feeding lot or lots or with the product, will entail the loss of the right to use the selling designations included in article 3 in the labelling.
Article 10. Traceability.
In each production, transformation, storage and distribution phases the traceability of the products subjected to this norm must be guaranteed, in such a way that it can be possible to relate the pieces or portions of a product with the animal or exploitation lot or lots where they come from, notwithstanding what is established in article 18 of Rule (CE) n.º 178/2002, January 28th, by which the principles and general requisites of food legislation are established, the European Authority for Food Security is created, and the procedures relating to food security are established.
Elaboration of Products Article
11. Elaboration of iberico hams, shoulders and loins.
1. Technics applied in the production process will aim to obtain products of the highest quality, bringing together the traditional features of the iberico ham, shoulder and loin.
2. The elaboration process for the iberico hams and shoulders will be done with the full musculoskeletal pieces, and will have the following stages: salting, washing, post-salting and curing-maturing.
3. The elaboration process for the iberico loin will have the following stages: marinating, stuffing in natural or artificial casing and curing-maturing.
Article 12. Characteristics of iberico ham, shoulder and loin.
In order to obtain products of the highest quality, hams, shoulders and loins must adjust to the minimum weights and elaboration periods. In order to ensure the minimum elaboration periods can be verified through the shelf life of products, an unbreakable identification, perfectly legible, will be placed in a visible place, using a system which includes, at least, two digits for the week of entry to the salting area, and the two final digits for the year.
These minimum weights and periods, considered from the day of entry into the salting area, are:
a) The shortest periods of elaboration, related to the weights of pieces, are:
|Weight of Pieces (end of process) (Kg)||Minimum curing period|
|< 7||600 days|
|≥ 7||730 days|
The minimum weight for hams, once cured and labelled, at the moment of expedition from the final producer, will be:
– 100% iberico Ham: ≥ 5,75 kg.
– iberico Ham: ≥ 7 kg.
a) Regardless of its weight, the minimum curing time will be of 365 days.
b) The minimum weight for shoulders, once cured and labelled, at the moment of expedition from the final operator, will be:
– 100% iberico shoulder: ≥ 3,7 kg.
– Iberico Shoulder: ≥ 4 kg.
c) Loin. The minimum elaboration period for loins will be of 70 days.
Control, inspection and certification
Article 13. Official Control.
The competent authorities from the Autonomous Communities will carry out the corresponding official controls thorough the whole process, from the farms to the end consumer, at the different production, elaboration and commercialization stages, for the products under the scope of the present norm, according to the corresponding annual control programs.
Article 14. Self-monitoring system.
1. Notwithstanding the official control carried out by the competent authorities as mentioned in article 13, operators will establish in all and every stage from production, elaboration and commercialization, including distribution when any action or handling of the product is carried out at that stage, a self-monitoring system of any operation carried out under their responsibility, which must be verified by an inspection or certification body, as applicable.
Operators must hire the services of an inspection or certification body, as applicable, to carry out what is mentioned on the previous point. In such contract it will be included an express authorisation so that the National Body of Accreditation can visit the industries or exploitations within the scope of the inspection or certification, without the need to be accompanied by the inspection or certification body, to exclusively check the performance of the accredited bodies, in order to keep or withdraw the above mentioned accreditation.
2. Operators must keep all records referring to the self-monitoring system available for the official control, during at least a period of 5 years.
3. The product certification can be made on the account of the final operator, which will be held responsible for all previous stages, or through partial certifications in slaughterhouses, quartering areas, production industries and distribution, each of them being held responsible for the operations carried out within their sphere of influence.
Article 15. Inspection and Certification Bodies.
1. The inspection and certification bodies will be accredited for a scope which will include what is established in this Royal Decree by the National Body of Accreditation (ENAC) or by the national institution of accreditation of any other member State of the European Union, designated according to what it is established in Rule (CE) 765/2008 by which the requisites for accreditation and vigilance of markets related to the commercialization of products are established, and by which it is revoked the Rule (CEE) N.º 339/93, and which has successfully submitted to the evaluation system by equals as established in such Normative.
The inspection and certification units, according to their activity, must comply with the following norms:
a) For inspection bodies, the norm UNE EN ISO/IEC 17020, with a scope which includes what is established in the present royal decree and expanded norms.
b) For bodies of product certification, the norm EN 45011 or a norm that substitutes it, with a scope which includes what it is established in the present royal decree and expanded norms.
In case of bodies that initiate their activity, the competent authority from the Autonomous Community where the activity they are initiating will take place, will be able to provisionally authorise such bodies without a previous accreditation, provided that they apply for accreditation within 24 months since the date of the provisional authorisation or until they are accredited if the term is shorter, if it is considered that they fulfil what is established in the above mentioned norms in points a) and b) of the present article. The provisional authorization will be effective in the whole of the national territory.
2. The inspection and certification bodies, once accredited, will need to present a declaration of responsibility within the Autonomous Community in which they start their activity following article 71 bis of Law 30/92 November 26th of jurisdictional regimen of public administrations and of common administrative procedures and the normative of application within the Autonomous Community. Such declaration, once submitted, will be valid in the whole of the Spanish territory.
Such entities will be supervised by the competent authorities within the Autonomous Communities in order to verify that they comply with all requisites needed to complete the declared activities, and that they do so correctly.
3. If, as a consequence of the supervision that the Autonomous Communities carry out on the bodies of supervision and certification within their territory, anomalies were detected, such anomalies will be immediately communicated to ENAC so the appropriate measures are put in place, communicating this to the rest of the Autonomous Communities for their information.
4. The suspension or withdrawal of the accreditation will imply the automatic cessation of all activities related to this norm, until the accreditation is restored. ENAC will immediately inform the competent authorities of the Autonomous Communities through the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, of any suspension of withdrawal of accreditation, and the causes for such decision.
5. The hiring of an inspection body by the operator must be maintain throughout the montanera period, unless there are causes duly justified, or to causes attributable to the inspection body. In no circumstances the contract can be broken because of the results of the inspection. If such were the case, the inspection body will inform the competent organism within the Autonomous Community.
6. For the particular case of products within the scope of a Protected Denomination of Origin or Protected Geographical Indication which use the same Commercial Names established by the present norm, the verification will be carried out by the organisms or competent controlling authorities recognised under the umbrella of the UE rule Nº 1151/2012 from the European Parliament and Council November 21st 2012 on the regimens of quality for food and agricultural products.
Article 16: Duty to inform.
1. The accredited bodies of inspection and accreditation, and the Regulatory Councils of Protected Denominations of Origin (if applicable), must periodically communicate to the competent Autonomous Communities, in a manner and periods stipulated by those, the following information:
a) Annual aggregate, by municipal council, of the animal census subject to their verification and commercialized by farmers following the racial, feeding and handling denominations. Information will be added by natural trimesters, within the 15 days following the end of each trimester.
b) Annual aggregate by municipal council of the number of hams, shoulders and loins and fresh meat products coming from the quartering of carcasses, subject to their verification and commercialized by the final operator for each of the racial, feeding and handling denominations.
The competent authorities from the Autonomous Communities will send the above information to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, which will publish them at its website, for the information of the competent authorities of the Autonomous Communities and the general public, with the due guarantees to the data protection of personal data.
2. The Iberico Pork Trade Body (ASICI) will send to the corresponding Autonomous Communities and to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, quarterly as a general rule and specifically at the end of the Montanera session, information relating to the number of seals put by designation, handed over to and used by each of the operators of the different establishments.
Infractions and Penalties.
Article 17. Infractions and Penalties
1. Infractions against what is disposed in the present royal decree will be subject to penalties as stipulated in the Royal Decree 1945/1983, June 22nd, by which it is regulated the infractions and penalties in matters of protections of consumers and food and agricultural production, and the corresponding normative from the Autonomous Communities relating to the protection of consumers and food quality.
2. The infractions made by the inspection and private certification bodies will be penalised following the disposition of Law 21/1992 from July 16th (Industry)
First Additional Disposition: Coordination Body of the Iberico Quality Norm.
A Coordination Body of the Iberico Quality Norm is established, as a working group, and will be formed by representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment and Autonomous Communities. The Iberico Pork Trade Body (ASICI), The Regulatory Bodies of the Protected Denominations of Origin, the National Body of Accreditation (ENAC), and the bodies which manage the genealogical books related to the norm will also collaborate when the subject requires it.
Other associations and trade bodies could be invited to participate in this body.
This organism, presided over by the General Director of the Food Industry, will carry out and develop studies and technical work on the following fields:
1. Improvement of coordination and harmonization of actions planned in the present quality norm, and of other norms that might be established for its development.
2. Working procedures to develop by the inspection and certification bodies.
3. Procedures for the racial control and inspection of productive animals with the aim of facilitating the adaptation of those animals with the racial requisites established in the present norm.
4. The development and improvement of the verification mechanisms and traceability analysis which will allow the evaluation of the results coming from the application of the present norm.
5. Technical elaboration of a National Plan for the Control of Quality of products under the remit of this norm, that will be proposed to be developed by the different Autonomous Communities by the corresponding annual control programs.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment will be able to establish, if adequate, collaboration programs with ASICI in order to carry out specific studies agreed by the Body.
Second Additional Disposition. Private Analytical Control Systems of animal foods.
If an industry establishes, in a private manner, specific analytical control systems for food control, such procedures will be made known, before hand, to the farmers, and will be applied with the highest level of transparency and guarantees for the producers.
In the case that by the application of those methods certain animals are disqualified in relation to their feeding and handling, the farmer will communicate this to the competent control authorities, to all appropriate effects
Third Additional Disposition. Mutual recognition Clause.
The requisites of the quality norm that is approved will not apply to other products legally produced or commercialised according with other specifications from other Member States of the European Union, not to products from countries from the European Association of Free Trade (EAFT), nor by the contracting parties to the agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA), or the States with a customs association agreement with the European Union.
First Transitory Disposition. Marketing of Products.
1. Products that are being produced and will be marketed before March 1st 2014 will be labelled using the Commercial Names established at the Royal Decree 1469/2007, by which the quality norm for meat, ham, shoulder and loin was approved, and could be marketed as such until stocks of such products are finished.
2. The operator that has products being ellaborated when this norm comes into forcé, but that will be marketed after March 1st 2014 will be able to chose, until stocks of such products are finished, to label them following the Royal Decree 1469/2007, apart from what is mentioned on section 3 of this point, or to label them according to the new Commercial Names of the present norm.
Only if the operator choses to label the products according to the present norm, they will need to add, before being marketed, a transitory seal, with the same colours as mentioned in article 9, that will be given by the Ib Iberico Pork Trade Body (ASICI). Also, for products voluntary labelled according to this norm, which come to the market after December 14th 2014, they will have as part of the label the obligatory mention that is referred to on part 4 a) of article 4, related to the percentage of iberico breed of the animal where the product comes from.
Regardless of the option chosen by the operator, the fulfilment of the other requirements that must be consider in relation to the labelling, from article 4, apart from those mentioned on part 4a), will be obliged for products marketed from March 1st 2014.
Handing over the transitional seals will require a declaration of responsibility by the part of the operator, with details of the number of pieces on stock in each category and year, which must coincide with the stock situation that the certification body of this operator carries out in the ordinary evaluation process.
In any case the data declared by the operator must correspond to their traceability registers and rest of documentation that must be kept. The products that are under an ellaboration process and are going to be labelled in conformity with the present norm, will be denominated in conformity with the following equivalence table:
|Royal Decree 1469/2007||Present Royal Decree|
Acorn fed Pure Iberico Loin
Acorn fed Iberico loin.
Countryside Fodder fed pure Iberico loin.
Countryside Fodder fed Iberico loin.
Fodder fed pure Iberico loin.
Fodder fed Iberico loin.
Acorn fed Pure Iberico shoulder
Acorn fed Iberico shoulder.
Countryside Fodder fed Pure Iberico shoulder
Countryside Fodder fed Iberico shoulder.
Fodder fed Pure Iberico shoulder
Fodder fed Iberico shoulder.
Acorn fed Pure Iberico ham
Acorn fed Iberico ham.
Countryside Fodder fed Pure Iberico ham
Fodder fed Pure Iberico ham
Countryside Fodder fed Iberico ham
Acorn fed 100% Iberico Loin
Acorn fed Iberico loin.
Countryside Fodder fed 100% Iberico loin.
Countryside Fodder fed Iberico loin.
Fodder fed 100% Iberico loin.
Fodder fed Iberico loin.
Acorn fed 100% Iberico shoulder
Acorn fed Iberico shoulder.
Countryside Fodder fed 100% Iberico shoulder
Countryside Fodder fed Iberico shoulder.
Fodder fed 100% Iberico shoulder
Fodder fed Iberico shoulder.
Acorn fed 100% Iberico ham
Acorn fed Iberico ham.
Countryside Fodder fed 100% Iberico ham
Fodder fed 100% Iberico ham
Countryside Fodder fed Iberico ham
Products coming from animals born after the date of the present norm coming into force, and sacrificed after that date must obligatorily apply such equivalences and transitory seals.
3. Product with the right to be labelled as “recebo” according to Royal Decree 1469/2007, which are in an elaboration process when this norm comes into force, will be able to be marketed as such until the stocks are finished. If the operator decided to label all their products according to the specifications of the current norm, the seal to add to the category “recebo” would be of brown colour. Products coming from “recebo” pigs born before the date of this norm coming into force, and sacrificed after that date, will carry that brown seal until the stocks are finished.
4. Products coming from animals sacrificed after the present norm comes into force, including those coming from animals subjected to the second transitory disposition or from farms subjected to the third transitory disposition, must comply the minimum elaboration periods and minimum weight for the product as contemplated in article 12.
Second transitory Disposition. Adaptation periods to the new norm regarding racial characteristics.
Notwithstanding what is established at the revocation disposition with the aim of helping to comply with the provisions of the current norm, regarding the racial characteristics of animals and the processes for their verification, a transitory period of 2 years is established for the farmers subjected to Royal Decree 1469/2007 comply with the present decree. In any case, new breeding stock that are added to farms from the moment this norm is published must comply with the above mentioned racial requirements.
Third Transitory Disposition. Transitory period for farms breeding animals from which products designated as “de cebo” (fodder fed)
Intensive farms that, at the moment that this Royal Decree comes into force are operating and authorised to do so, will have a period of 3 years to adapt to the conditions established in point 1 of article 8.
Unique Revocation Disposition. Normative Revocation.
All dispositions of equal or inferior range that opposed to what is disposed in the present Royal Decree, and in particular the Royal Decree 1469/2007, November 2nd, are repealed.
First Final Disposition. Competencies.
What is disposed in the present royal decree has a basic normative carácter, as disposed in article 149.1.13.ª, 16.ª and 23.ª from the Constitution, which gives the State to exclusive competence regarding basis and coordination of general economic activities planning, basis and general coordination of welfare and protection of the enviroment.
Second final Disposition. Entry into force.
The present royal decree will come into forcé the following day to its publication at the “State Official Bulletin”
Madrid, January 10th 2014.
Maximum admisible load of animals as determined by the Surface of the land covered by trees, for animals which will originate products designated as “Acorn-fed”
|Surface of the land covered by trees – Percentage||Maximum admisible load of animals – (Animals/Ha)|
Up to 10
Up to 15
Up to 20
Up to 25
Up to 30
Up to 35
Up from 35