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Parma, capital of food
Roma - (Adnkronos Multimedia) - It is no coincidence that Parma has been selected to act as host for the European Agency for Food Security. Here, the renowned cooking skills and the transformation of agricultural and livestock produce into first-class products, are a centuries-old tradition. In Parma, the largest factory in the world for the production of pasta is located, the best raw ham in the world is cured and the most exclusive refined cheese is produced, Parmesan. Finally, of course, the biggest concentration of businesses in the Italian food sector is to be found here, which form one of the most dynamic industrial areas.
These are the statistics: more than 2,000 businesses, for an overall turnover of approximately 8.5 billion euros; exports for a total value of approximately 2.5 billion euros; more than 10,000 employees. All this is concentrated in a very limited area, made up of the city of Parma and 29 neighboring towns, where 15 per cent of the personnel employed in the Italian agricultural/food sector are to be found, who work in: 326 ham-curing factories, 5,500 breeding farms, 163 slaughterhouses, 201 production companies (3,000 employees) and 1,380 companies in the dairying sector (7,500 employees).
In each individual area of productivity, the production and manufacture of pork products is one of the most distinctive symbols of the area.
The production of "Prosciutto di Parma" and other cured pork meats, is centered in Langhirano and is made up of a further 7 towns, of which are Collecchio and Felino (famous for salame).
In fact, ham, in a certain sense, is the 'son of the Parmesan' as the serum which remains from the manufacture of parmesan is the basic element of foodstuff for pigs. The tradition of the production of ham has been lost in time; some sources believe that similar methods as those used today for the curing of ham were already being used at the beginning of the 15th Century.
The manufacture of cured pork meats in the province represents more than 65 per cent of the national market. As well as raw ham, other typical cured pork meats are produced such as 'Salame di Felino" and "Culatello di Zibello - DOP" and other similar delicatessen products.
As regards the production of parmesan cheese, this also has its origins from a very old tradition: historical records go back to the Etruscan and the Roman times, but the most famous is that of Giovanni Boccaccio.
As well as the art of manufacture, the quality of the parmesan derives from the peculiarities of the climate and the rich fodder.
The creameries in the Parma province process annually approximately 550 million litres of milk from which approximately 40,000 tons of parmesan is extracted, for a total of more than 1 million whole forms of parmesan.
The sector of pasta and oven-baked products is characterized by the presence of Barilla, a world leader in this area. The first Italian pasta producing businesses were established in Parma during the second half of the last century, with the foundation of Pastificio Braibanti. In 1877 Barilla entered into the market first with a shop and bakery for the production of bread and fresh pasta; then in 1910 with the establishment of the first factory for the production of pasta. Thus began an industrial growth which today sees the businesses that operate in the production of pasta in the district as having a comprehensive productive capacity of approximately 355 million kilograms of pasta per year. Moreover, in this district there are numerous firms dedicated to the production of oven-baked biscuits and pastries, as well as one of the most important Italian sugar refineries, producing almost 100,000 tons of sugar per year, and the major producer of yeast in Italy, which , with more than a production of 38,000 tons, represents 55 per cent of the national production of yeast (baking powder?) for the bakeries.
In conclusion, regarding the area representing the preserving of vegetables, numerous firms dedicated to the preserving of tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables operate in the district, with an overall productive capacity of approximately 1 million tons of fresh tomatoes per year.
Details in brief
||Province of Parma|
||cured pork meats, pasta and oven-baked products,|
milk and its derivitates, vegetable preserves
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