Vion Pork introduces Robusto ham for premium market segment in Italy

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10 Oct 2017 --- Vion Pork, part of Vion Food Group, is introducing a premium selected ham for the top segment of the Italian market under the brand name of Robusto. The hams, from the supply chain concept Good Farming Balance, have been developed for the leading producers of dried hams.

Dried ham is one of the best-known processed meat products from Italy. The product is attracting a lot of interest internationally, based on its special production process of air drying, which generates the unique taste and consistency of the ham.

Vion notes that it has been delivering hams to Italian dried ham producers for many years. Now, with Robusto, the company is adding premium quality to its range. Robusto has been developed for the production of the highest-quality dried hams. The introduction of the new Robusto concept has taken place during the international food trade fair Anuga in Cologne.

“Within the Pork division, we work with three market concepts, each of which meets the demands of the market and consumers in its own way,” Frans Stortelder, COO of Vion Pork, tells FoodIngredientsFirst. “One of these market concepts is Good Farming Balance, our supply chain concept which responds to specific demands in international markets. Our new premium ham concept ‘Robusto’ is produced as a part of the supply chain concept Good Farming Balance.”

“In our opinion, the combination of market access, target group-specific product attributes and consistency is what makes Vion a trusted partner to customers and suppliers,” Stortelder continues.

“Champions League”
The Robusto hams are of the highest quality and are distinguished by their weight, color, fat layer, intramuscular fat, shape and consistency. Therefore, Vion Pork says they are the perfect ingredients for the top segment of the Italian dried ham industry.

“By taking this step, Vion Pork is entering the Champions League of Italian ham production,” says an enthusiastic Stortelder. He points out that, as well as the product qualities mentioned, the sourcing from an integrated production chain offers important added value. “In the international sale of quality pork, in future, this will be even more important than a good price," according to Stortelder.

Vion Pork has said it will produce the special Robusto ham as a part of its supply chain concept Good Farming Balance, introduced earlier this year. Within this concept, pig farmers that have entered into a supply agreement with Vion opt for a special delivery module.

The Robusto hams come from the modules in which the pigs delivered are heavier; Vion Pork asserts that this creates the basis for premium quality (fatty) hams. After a stringent internal selection process, Vion Pork supplies the hams to the Italian customers.

Trusted partner
Vion Pork notes that Italian producers of top-quality dried ham are increasingly selling their products on international markets, such as the US, Canada and Japan. To be included in large retail companies' ranges, guaranteed origin and transparency in the supply chain are important preconditions.

Moreover, in order to export to many countries, it is essential that the products meet the veterinary admission requirements, as prescribed in the US certificate. All of Vion’s abattoirs in the Netherlands have this US certificate, the company reports.

Ham producers are increasingly choosing suppliers with a controlled and secure production chain, from farm to end product. Vion makes it clear that it offers this in the shape of its Good Farming program. “This makes us a trusted partner to our customers and our suppliers, the pig farmers. Trust is the most important thing in the world of food,” says Stortelder.

By Paul Creasy

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