Back for Mora
How the granting of PDO status hepled bring the Mora Romagnala pig back from the brink
The Mora is an Itallian breed of pig, whose name means 'black' or 'blackberry'. It arrived in the Romagnola region of Italy eons ago, and has been a popular local meat source ever since on account of its strong resistance to illness and sweet tender meat. Yet by 1980 a mixture of changing land uses and industrialisation of pig farming had left the Mora all but extinct.
How was it saved?
Life for the Mora took a distinct turn for the better in 1982, when Italian pig breeder Mario Lazzari decided enough was enough. Mario set about restoring the Mora to its former glory, tracking down the last pure-bred pigs remaining (of which there were about a dozen) and using three swine, and one boar to bring them back from the brink. Today there are over 800 Mora in Romagnola region, an achievement which has been helped considerable by their being granted protected status earlier this year in the form of a PDO.
What are the rules?
This PDO rules stipulate that all the operations of butchering, processing and seasoning are carried out according to the very strict specifications of UNI 10939, and of those guardians of food quality, Presidium. The breed of the pig must be completely traceable, it must be reared outdoors (no industrialised intensive farm for the Mora – its piggy propensity to put on fat means it must be able to range freely), it must be slaughtered with minimum stress and any subsequent processing and packaging must be natural, free of chemical preservatives and kept to a minimum.
How does the protected name status help?
Customers buying a Mora Romagnola product can do so with confidence that the pig was raised in one very particular region of Italy under very strict animal welfare guidelines. Producers can raise their pigs safe in the knowledge that nobody else can unfairly benefit from the kudos associated with this most flavoursome of rare breeds. This should ensure that breeders continue to raise Mora Romagnola, keeping them safe from the extinction that only a few decades back seemed sadly inevitable.