IT has long been thought of as the world’s best ham.
But, according to new evidence, half of the jamon Iberico that comes from Andalucia could be something else.
The Junta has launched an investigation after it emerged that up to a million Iberian pigs are supposedly being slaughtered each year.
This comes, while there are, in fact, only 500,000 real Iberian pigs actually living in the region.
Investigators believe that wide scale fraud has been taking place in the labelling of pig products.
The discovery was made when 17,400 kilos of wrongly-labelled Jamon Iberico was found in Sevilla.
The company Atrisa Sabor Iberico has now been accused of fraud.
True jamon Iberico should come from the black Iberian pig that lives primarily in the south of Spain, in areas, such as Jabugo, in Huelva.
Some of the confusion has come about due to a 2007 law which allows ham to be labelled ‘Iberico’ if at least one of the animal’s parents is pure Iberian.
This – and what they are fed on – accounts for the huge difference in prices with ham ranging from eight to 60 euros a kilo.
Pure free-range acorn-fed Iberian pigs are the most expensive.
Many genuine producers are asking for a change in legislation forcing each product to be labelled more clearly, as either ‘pure Iberico’ or ‘cross-Iberico’, to avoid fraud.