Founded in 1984, Filiera Agroalimentare Madeo is located in the municipality of San Demetrio Corone, in the province of Cosenza in the Ionian Presilan Hills. In the 1990s, the company launched the recovery of the indigenous breed that was on the risk of extinction, also known as the Black Calabrese pig, with the goal of enhancing the typical products produced with the meats of this pig.
The area where the pigs are raised is characterized by cultivations of olive trees, uncontaminated vegetation and a climate that boasts fresh summers and mild winters. The territory is exposed to constant ventilation as it is situated in a particularly favorable position, in the center of the two seas in Calabria, the Ionian and Tyrrhenian. These are excellent conditions for raising animals according to the “animal welfare” of the black pig, which is in its ideal habitat in these types of environments. The pigs root in the wild and semi-wild in search of herbs, roots and olives, which constitute its food source, along with seasonal vegetables, barley and field beans produced within the supply chain. The growth rate and the reproduction of pigs are in harmony with the times dictated by nature. Lastly, the beneficial wind inhibits humidity and favors the healthiness of the finished product.
Beginning in the 1990s, Ernesto Madeo embarked on a long journey toward the recovery and selection of the genetics of this breed of pigs, retracing several male and female examples in the areas of Sila Greca and Aspromonte. By nature, the black pig resists well to rigid temperatures, which allow it to live in the open and, therefore, to be raised in the wild or semi-wild. Distinctive elements are the black, bristly short coat, size and average weight of about 200 kg for the male and about 160 for the female, the boar’s strong vigor and the sow’s high mothering instinct.
Filiera Madeo: an example of the enrichment of the territory and of the local typicalness
Filiera Madeo has always aimed at the enhancement of the excellences of the territory. Thank to the acute and visionary entrepreneurial spirit of its owner, Ernesto Madeo, today the company is the supply chain of the most important indigenous Calabrese breed in Italy, which enhances the pork meats through healthy nourishment and constant attention to the well-being of the animals. The supply chain phases are divided as such: agriculture, production of clean energy (biogas and photovoltaic), cultivation and production of Calabrese extra-virgin olive oil, cultivation and production of Calabrese chili peppers, farming Black Calabrese and DOP pigs, butchering, deboning and producing meats, production of cold cuts, packaging and distribution of the finished product.
The well-being of the animals above all else
Food safety means, above all, controls and safeguarding the well-being of the animals. The relative European Union regulation confirms that the European food policy is based on a rigorous safety standard and that the quality of the environment can influence the healthiness of the products. Filiera Agroalimentare Madeo guarantees all this. The controls are continuous and rigorous, demonstrated by the fact that the animals have two seals, they are AIA-certified by both the Italian Farmers Association and the local Italian Health Department (ASL). The ASL veterinarian, who works in the farming sector, monitors the animals for possible pathologies pursuant to ministerial policies, controlling their well-being and verifying the appropriateness of the facilities as well as the staff. The environment in which the pigs reproduce is cared for in all aspects: potable water and bedding are always clean and disinfected. Reproduction occurs in a natural manner, in a specifically designated area. Therefore, the attention placed on their well-being is of the utmost importance and is an absolute guarantee for the finished product. If the animal lives well and grows in a healthy manner, it will be less stressed, thus producing better meat.
The supply chain ends in the company’s plants, where the butchering and production take place. In this case, everything undergoes rigorous verification as well: the meat, the ingredients, semi-finished products, from the seasoned product to the packaging. Nothing left to chance and safety is fully guaranteed.
The rediscovery of the farming of the Black Calabrese pig, implemented by Filiera Agroalimentare Madeo, is the triumph of the Calabrese pig-farming industry, which is the true revelation of an altered way of producing and conceiving a new strategy that aims, above all, at the recovery of authentic products.
There are three production lines of Madeo’s cold cuts; The Black Calabrese cold cuts, which have conquered the taste and attention of a vaster audience of demanding consumers. Among these cold cuts are the Prosciutto, from the unmistakable black pigment and the intense color of the meats, high quality and unique in its genre, to the intense taste of the lean and enveloping fat, which literally melts in your mouth. Then the Salami Sticks, the renowned and spicy Nduja, excellent in sauces, on pasta and rice as well as in legumes, the Lard, which gives flavor to all dishes of the good Italian gastronomical tradition and the Salami, which is characterized by a very low level of fats, about 10%, suitable to be included in low-calorie diets. Lastly, the Calabrese DOP cold cuts: sausage, brawn, capocollo and pancetta, not to mention the traditional spicy Madeo’s Calabrese Cold Cuts.
The company continues to diversify and increase its range of references, vaster and more loyal. The next goal of this entrepreneurial model, which has been able to reassess the territory and the local production in a context not always simple, will be to conquer foreign markets.