Structure of the Association
|Chairman ||Vice-president marketing||Vice-president finance||Business manager|
|Hans Schnekenburger||Elisabeth Adler-Gößmann ||Dietmar Kalbacher ||Wolfgang Türschmann |
Elisabeth Adler-Gößmann, Peter Adler, Karl-Heinz Blum, Nils Feldmann, Andreas Hofer, Dietmar Kalbacher, Wilhelm Riesle, Hans Schnekenburger
Visionaries from the Black Forest with
The Association of Black Forest Ham Manufacturers (Schutzverband der Schwarzwälder Schinkenhersteller) has stood for a resolute branding policy, innovative marketing and model quality assurance for 20 years now
This is a success story written by people with courage and far-sightedness. On balance, 20 years after the Association was founded, one can say today: The members of the Association of Black Forest Ham Manufacturers produce the most popular and widely sold cured ham in Germany, and are even among the market leaders in sales of smoked cured ham in Europe. Down to the present day, Black Forest Ham is produced solely in the manufactories of the Black Forest based on traditional methods and using select raw materials and ingredients. The Association guarantees retailers and consumers that Black Forest Ham is always top quality.
Ham producers from the Black Forest joined together in 1989 to found an association in 1989. The idea and vision of the founding fathers was the long-term preservation of the regional specialty in its traditional, original form over the long term: Black Forest Ham – a boneless, cured ham with an outer speck smoked over fir.
The first important milestone was reached in 1997: Black Forest Ham was placed under the protection of the EU. Under Regulation (EC) no. 510/2006, Black Forest Ham is protected against imitation and since the issue of the regulation has been allowed to carry the label "Protected Geographic Indication (PGI)". The close connection between the origin providing the name and the stages in the production of Black Forest Ham is afforded special protection. In other words: Since that time only Black Forest Ham which is produced exclusively with traditional methods in the Black Forest has been allowed to call itself Black Forest Ham.
The Regional Council in Karlsruhe also helps make sure that this will also stay this way in the future. Additional checks and controls stipulated by statute are performed by government-recognised certification institutes.
Quality assurance is primarily up to the producers, however. In addition to the Association’s own internal checks and controls at the plants and at retailers, the Interest Association has been working for many years with the independent Lacon Institute in Offenburg, in this manner offering its member companies continuous quality checks. These range from the area of goods receiving all the way across the entire production process. Smoking over domestic softwood and adherence to the stipulated drying degrees for the hams are only two of the most important parameters. The product labelling and the colour, smell and taste have to meet EU quality standards, which are in line with the criteria applied in the award of the RAL seal of approval by the "Deutsche Institut für Gütesicherung und Kennzeichnung".
"Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)”, another label carried by Black Forest Ham (one of the few European ham brands, incidentally), means much more than merely guarantied quality. EU protection – and thus certified uniqueness – also provide legal security and European protection of the brand name, posing a barrier to unfair competition.