CARREFOUR supplier and Spain’s biggest distributor of jamon iberico, Comapa, have been accused of labelling Polish pork as from ‘La Alpujarra’ in Granada.
The alarm was raised by the Association of Producers of Granada, who transferred its complaint to consumer rights organisation Facua, claiming the labelling was ‘misleading’.
The association has demanded the products – a third of the price of genuine Alpujarras jamon iberico – be removed from the market.
Comapa admitted the pigs were Polish, but claimed the production of its jamon is carried out in Granada.
In 2016, the Association of Producers of Granada registered the ‘Jamones La Alpujarra’ guarantee mark with the Junta de Andalucia.
The rules state the jamon must be made in the region, must come from a female or a castrated male and must not contain additives or preservatives – only ham and salt.
The curing process must take at least between 16 and 20 months – whereas Comapa jamons are only cured for eight months.
Sales prices in large supermarkets such as Carrefour are around €25 per piece for a Comapa jamon – compared with an average of €80 euros for the jamons from companies registered under the Jamones La Alpujarra label.
“The hams they bring from Poland are of poor quality,” Pilar Álvarez, representative of the Association of Producers of Granada, told El Pais.
WAR OF WORDS
Comapa registered its own label, ‘Jamones Sierra Alpujarra’, also in 2016.
They maintain Poland ‘is an EU country’ and so food standards are the same as in Spain.
Francisco José Fernández is one of seven businesses in the Association of Producers of Granada. He has been managing the family business Jamones de Juviles, inherited from his grandfather, for 30 years.
“I feel helpless to see how my father and my grandfather have been fighting to make a name in the market for hams in the region and now a company uses that brand without producing in the area,” he said.
“They denigrate the quality of the ham of La Alpujarra.”