Skip to main content

Ham of Bayonne

Ham of Bayonne is a supply chain operating under the PGI regulation. The French law requires that a PGI supply chain must be coupled with CCP or label.

All French pork chains must comply with legislations (European and National) related to food safety (see above) and labeling system.

The most important regulations for food safety which are compulsory for all operators in the pork supply chain include:
At the pig production level

  • Identification of pork and traceability concerning the farm, pig and pig meat productéglementation.html

  • Animal welfare regulation (directive CE 1/2005) concerning animal well-being between pig farm, transport and slaughterhouse. (Directive 98/58/CE of 1998/07/20 relative to any animal (pig, beef, cattle…), and directive 91/630/CEE of 1991/11/19 specific for pork)

  • Hygiene legislation (Hygiene packet)
  • Environmental regulation for farming (ICPE) « Installation classée pour la protection de l’environnement »: conservation of quality of water and the air, the nitrate directive CE 12/1994. More information here.

For the downstream level (slaughterhouse, cut unit and processing), regulation concerns, traceability (Directive CE 178/2002), labelling (Directive CE 13/2000), and the DLC “Limit date for consumption (best-before date). These are complemented by some national regulations about valorization of fresh pork (NF V46-004), meat condition of processing: NF standards V 46-012 relative to meat processes and meat products and NF standards V 46-013 relative to breeding and transport of the pigs intended for slaughter.

In addition, Good practice of hygiene in pork production, slaughtering and meat industries is applied.  Examples are the technical guidelines for meat processing “Codes des usages de charcuteries et salaisons » which concerns the quality of meat products, restrictions on input, like additive ingredients, stamping/labelling, characteristics of the product (like sensory aspects)

The labelling system in a quality signal is a voluntary programme.é.html

In France, quality schemes are defined by the Labelling law of 1960. 

In the Ham of Bayonne supply chain, two French official quality schemes are applied which are Label Rouge (Red Label) and the Certification de Conformité Produit (Product Certification Conformity).  Label rouge attests the high quality level of the product. Its specifications concern animal feed (based cereals no less than 75%), rearing conditions, meat selection as in regard to its quality and criteria specified for processing. Label rouge covers all stage of production between feed  and processing:

Certification, CCP, has been created by the French law on 30/12/1988 in order to complete the French official quality scheme. CCP attests product safety. CCP has become important in the pork sector since the BSE crises of 1996 and 2000. CCP is based on the national norm  NF V 46-004  concerning ”valorization of fresh pork and fresh pork products”.

In addition, some private standards and norms are used to complete regulations and quality signals for managing the quality in pork chain:

  • Good practice of hygiene in pork production, slaughtering and meat industries.  Examples are the technical guidelines for meat processing “Codes des usages de charcuteries et salaisons" which concerns the quality of meat products, restrictions on input, like additive ingredients, stamping/labelling, characteristics of the product (like sensory aspects)
  • HACCP principles
  • Norm ISO 9001, ISO 22000, ISO 14000 which can be found in every stage of the chain
  • Standard like IFS or BRC

In summary, for Ham of Bayonne the Quality Management System is according to PGI specification coupled with CCP specifications and Label Rouge, completed by strict inspection plans in order to check its conformity.
Pig farmers, which supply Ham of Bayonne, have been certified under PGI “Porc du Sud-Ouest ( PGI Pig of South-West) since 5/07/2005.


PGI Ham of Bayonne specifications

Others QMS
which can be found according to the company


Ham of Bayonne is produced with selected pigs:  Large white, or pig  from  hybrid  boar Large White-Piétrain or  pure race boar large white or Duroc

ISO 9001

Animal feed

Traditional pig feed based on cereals particularly  maize without  steroids,  fish oils, nor antibiotics

ISO 9001, guidelines of good practice (hygiene, sanitary), environmental legislation

Pig farmers/cooperatives

  • Origin of pig : careful selection of pigs: pigs exclusively born and raised in the South West  (22) regions

Video in the link:

  • Identification and traceability between piglet to finishing
  • Good practice of hygiene and sanitary aspect
  • Prophylactic plan
  • Respect of environmental regulation
  • Animal welfare

ISO 9001, ISO 14000, NF V46-013


  • Respect of animal welfare with regard to transport conditions
  • Respect of “cold chain”

ISO 9001, NF V-46-013


  • Identification of carcass
  • Traceability
  • Good practice of hygiene
  • HACCP methods
  • Respect of the specific “cut” of fresh ham (ham with bone)
  • Respect of animal welfare


ISO 9001, ISO 14000, ISO 22000, IFS, BRC
NF V46-012


  • Drying and salting exclusively carried out in the Adour Basin Region
  • Respect of the processing stages including five mainly stages


Video in the link:

  • Traceability
  • Average length of Ham production  about 9 to 10 months and at least 7 months
  • Use of specific salt: “Salies de Bearn and Mouguerre”
  • Stamping Ham which successful the processing stages with traditional Basque cross”Laburu” seal topped with the name of Bayonne
  • Stamping PGI Ham of Bayonne label in the packaging for retail

by taking into account dimension of label, its place in the packaging,etc…

ISO 9001, ISO 14000, ISO 22000, IFS, BRC,
Good practice of hygiene “ codes des usages de charcuteries salaisons”,
NF V46-012

 Monitoring and control

Control is according to the norm EN 45011 of the French quality food law of 3/01/1994, and the directive CEE 2081/92.
There are three level of rigorous control for all stages to check compliance with the specifications:

  • Self-control by each chain actor
  • Internal control  conducted by the consortium: on site for all the members
  • External control by the independent certification body CERTISUD

In addition there is an inspection by the public authority (veterinarian departement) to check sanitary and food safety.

On-site control for pig farmers concerns the origin of pigs, identification of the product, breeding conditions and age of slaughtered pig. Compliance with specifications is checked in the slaughterhouse.

External controls for farmers are always unexpected, while for other chain actors visits are by appointment. In cases of non-conformity corrective plans involving additional rigorous control are applied dependent on the level of severity of non-conformance.