Production chain means all the parties (organization) and the relative material flows (raw materials, additives, semi-finished products, packaging materials) that take part in the production, distribution, commercialization and supply of the product. Therefore, the word “production chain” identifies all the activity and flow that has a critical relevance for the product’s characteristics.
OPAS wants to offer the final consumer a food product that is controlled right from the initial phases of the animal’s life, guaranteeing quality for the buyer.
OPAS takes care of and controls all the production chain, aware of the fact that the quality of the meat and the high organoleptic value of its proteins are coherent to the quality of all the phases of the process from the field to reaching the consumers’ table.
The distinguishing characteristic of the production chain is to include only pigs of Italian nationality, that is, those born, raised in Italy and slaughtered at the OPAS plant. These pigs may or may not belong to the circuit of P.D.O. Parma and San Daniele ham; in the latter case, pigs are fed with raw materials and feed conforming to and established in the regulations of the Consortium of Parma and San Daniele ham or with GMO-free feed.
Pig meat cuts are able to guarantee:
The total traceability of the product in each phase
The identification of the type of feed used in each farm during the fattening phase
The health condition/welfare of the animals in the farms and at the slaughterhouse;
The slaughtering age
The slaughtering weight
The conformity of the processin each critical phase through monitoring
The healthiness of meat cuts
The organoleptic characteristics of the final product.
TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
Traceability: The possibility of tracing back and following the itinerary of food product, animal feed, of an animal intended for food production or of a substance intended or suitable for becoming part of a food product or animal feed through all the phases of production, of processing and of distribution (EC Reg. 178/02).
Agri-food chain: Set range of organizations (or operators) with the relative material flow that is involved in the production, distribution, commercialization and supply of an agri-food chain. The term “supply chain” identifies, in this context, all the activities and the flow that has critical relevance for the characteristics of the product.
The products subject to certification are all those meat cuts that are commercialized with the certificate of origin of O.P.A.S. controlled production chain.
Everybody, suppliers (breeders) and sub-suppliers (feed producers), sign OPAS technical specifications for “OPAS Controlled Production Chain”, accept its content, meet the requirements and officially participate in the above mentioned supply chain, directly becoming the managers of at their own plants.
The partners commit themselves, each one according to their skills, to follow the different provisions reported in the technical production specifications.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRODUCTION CHAIN
OPAS Controlled Production Chain is a production chain of complete extension, concerning all the raw materials (livestock and subsidiary material) entering into the company and applied to the finished products exiting from OPAS.
OPAS Controlled Production Chain requires an exhaustive check of all the organizations involved in the production and distribution of OPAS products, from the production of the animal feed to the sale to the Customer.
The transport phases of live animals to the slaughterhouse and of finished meat products to the customer are carried out by the external companies and therefore, not property of OPAS. Therefore, even if they are not included in the range of the list of participants in the above mentioned production chain, these phases are in any case checked according to the hygienic-sanitary self-monitoring implemented at OPAS company.
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE PRODUCTION CHAIN
The suppliers that adhere to OPAS Controlled production chain, if applicable, shall guarantee the presence and the application of a self-monitoring system conforming to the requirements of the legislation in force.
The suppliers guarantee the presence and the implementation of documented procedures concerning:
- Identification and traceability
- Staff training
- Correct management of documents and records
- Audits of the production chain (by OPAS).
The suppliers commit themselves to fulfil all the regulations in force as regards to environmental matters and to implement policies and procedures aimed at minimizing the environmental impact of their own activity.
SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS OF THE PRODUCTION CHAIN
PRODUCTION OF ANIMAL FEED
The animal feed is made by the animal feed producers certified by OPAS, by using raw materials coming from qualified and long-time suppliers, checked according to a well-defined company plan made official by suitable procedures. Each animal feed is described by using several tags present at the company and audited during the audits by the supply chain supervisor.
All the breeding farms that are part of OPAS Controlled Production Chain must satisfy, firstly, all the requirements of technical-sanitary aspects established in the legislation in force. The breeding farms shall be in possession of all the authorizations or licenses set out by the legislation in force. Therefore, pigs are reared in companies provided with facilities, equipment and organizations suitable for guaranteeing the healthy welfare, balanced growth and production processes.
As regards the genetics aspect, all those breeds that come from selection or cross-breeding schemes are permitted, which are implemented with purposes compatible to those of the Italian Genealogical Book for the production of large pigs, permitted by the Consortium of Parma and S. Daniele ham Production.
The livestock assigned to OPAS’s controlled production chain comes from breeding farms accredited as per the Specification of Parma and San Daniele ham. Therefore, the pig feed shall comply with what is required by the above mentioned Specifications. The animals are fed with products of known origin and checked in all the phases, from the arrival at the feed producing company to animal consumption.
All the breeding farms shall comply with the legislation in force. The farmers commit themselves to breed, receive and keep the animals at rest in facilities, to use equipment and organization suitable for guaranteeing the respect of animal welfare. The facilities and the equipment of the breeding farms are strictly cleaned and disinfected for guaranteeing the correct conditions of welfare to the animal, in order not to cause unnecessary pains, suffering or injuries.
All the pharmaceutical treatments permitted are recorded on a specific form that is included in a loading/unloading register of the medicines present at the company as established by the sanitary laws in force. As regards to the therapy and the prophylaxis of the animals, only the supplements and medicines recorded and permitted for pigs can be used, making sure to respect the withdrawal time established before the slaughtering.
The staff members of the concerned organization, who may influence OPAS’s traceability system, are properly trained, made aware and involved in order to ensure a correct implementation of the very same supply chain. Staff members are aware of the importance of their function and of the consequences of their own behaviour.
On arrival, the livestock of the controlled production chain shall be issued with the following documents:
Declaration of provenance of the animals, which reports the possible health treatments carried out over the last 90 days of fattening.
Food Chain information (FCI)
Supplementary Sanitary Attestation (for purposes of export to Third Countries).