The origins

The Black Pig has a history of over 2,700 years.
Madeo brings tradition into the future

Il troverai, che guarderà la nera greggia, che beve d’Aretusa al fonte, e alla pietra del Corvo addenta, e rompe la dolce ghianda, per la cui virtude il florido sul dosso adipe cresce.

Omero, ODISSEA, Libro XIII (vv. 478 - 482)

The breeding of the black pig

Since 1990, the entrepreneur Ernesto Madeo has taken on a challenge that today has proved successful, starting a long selection process to recover the genetics of the Black Pig of Calabria, an almost extinct native breed, tracing some specimens of males and females in the areas of the Greek Sila and the Aspromonte. The Calabrian territory represents an ideal habitat, guaranteeing the optimal conditions for farming.

The pigs are free to root outdoor in search of herbs, roots and seasonal vegetables which represent their main source of nutrition. The growth and reproduction rhythms are in complete harmony with the ones dictated by natural laws. 

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences - Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna Department of Agriculture - "Mediterranean" University of Reggio Calabria Department of Chemical Engineering - University of Calabria

Animal welfare

Our policy is based on the “Five Freedoms” recommended by the UK Farm Animal Welfare Committee as a framework and guide (Brambell Report 1965).


Freedom from hunger, thirst and poor nutrition by ensuring the availability of fresh water and a diet that maintains full health


Freedom from environmental impact by guaranteeing the animal an appropriate space that includes shelter and a comfortable rest area

Freedom from pain, injuries and diseases by preventing or quickly diagnosing/treating them


Freedom to express species-specific behavioral characteristics by providing sufficient space, adequate facilities and the company of animals of the same species


Freedom from fear and stress by ensuring conditions and care which avoid psychological suffering

The constant attention to animal welfare has made Madeo, over the years, the most important native breed supply chain in Italy, whose Calabrian Black Pig farms have been rewarded internationally by the CIWF with the “Good Pig” and ” Good Sow”.

Healthy eating

We have always protected the psychophysical well-being of animals, according to high standards: strictly open-air breeding, respect for the natural rhythms of growth and reproduction, healthy and
GMO-free nutrition. The pigs feed on herbs, roots, acorns and olives, integrated by the short chain cereals of our production (corn, barley, field beans) and seasonal vegetables.
This healthy diet, combined with respect for the right vital spaces of the animal, determines the success of the breeding.

Without the use of antibiotics from birth.

Research studies

The interest in contributing to the process of rediscovery and enhancement of one of the most important native Italian pig breeds in terms of population of reared animals, the Black Pig of Calabria, has made it possible to obtain unique and cutting-edge data on the biochemical-nutritional profile of the meat of this breed and the potential beneficial effects on human health.

The results obtained demonstrate, as a consequence of the interaction between the genotype, the diet of the pigs and the extensive rearing regimen conducted, that the meat of the Black Pig of Calabria is characterized by the following properties:

low levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol

elevated levels of gamma globulins

high presence of oleic acid

high content of omega 6 essential fatty acids

excellent quality omega 6 and omega 9 fats

lack of arachidonic acid

Average lipid % in meat 3.5

low level of oxidation and rancidity of fats

Our patent

Italian patent and international model protect the process which allows to maintain the original black pigment of the pig.


Blacks of Italy


Unique interlocutor for products based on 100% pure native Italian Black Pig, of the 5 national breeds recognized and certified by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, with a complete range of salted products, sausages and fresh meats able to satisfy every need of modern distribution.

The Madeo Supply chain is the promoter and leader of the national network of the Italian black pig, starting the recovery process for these “royal families” in a unique SUPPLY CHAIN.


RE NERO 100% pure Italian Black Pig” is a trademark registered by the Agrocepi trade association which guarantees the authenticity of the Supply chain of this pure breed and a certified quality system.
The indigenous breeds represented by this brand are recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry.


The Black Pig has a history of over 2700 years. Some research studies show that the genetics derives from the stock bred by the ancient Greeks and Romans, which then spread to various regions of Italy with territorial peculiarities.

Mora Romagnola

It can be recognized immediately, due to the dark brown hair tending towards black (hence the name of “mora”), due to the particular almond shape of the eyes and due to the presence, especially in boars, of very long tusks, such as to make them more similar to boars than to actual pigs. Like many old breeds, the Mora is vigorous, predisposed to fattening and very rustic: ideal for outdoor breeding systems.

Cinta Senese

The Cinta Senese is a breed of ancient origins, probably already bred at the time of the Etruscans and Romans. Raised outdoors in the Tuscan woods, it feeds on acorns and/or chestnuts which significantly characterize the organoleptic characteristics of Cinta Senese products.

Black Casertano

It is raised in the provinces of Caserta and Benevento. The Casertano pig is not excessively tall, with fine bones and robust legs, a slate-grey coat and no hair. It has a good aptitude for fattening and its main characteristic is the marbling of the meat, i.e. the presence of abundant intramuscular connective tissue which makes the meat of this pig soft and particularly tasty.


It is raised in the Greek Sila areas and Aspromonte. Among the specific characteristics of the breed, the following stand out: the strong vigor of the boar and the high maternal aptitude of the female. The morphology is typical of the Mediterranean pig, with a straight nasal profile and large hanging ears facing forward to cover the eyes. The qualities expressed by the meat of the Black Pig of Calabria are highly nutritious, with tender meat rich in Omega 3, due to the combination of genetic, environmental and traditional factors, as well as to the typical breeding techniques of Calabria.


The Black Sicilian pig, also called Nero dei Nebrodi, Nero delle Madonie or Nero dell’Etna is a native breed with very ancient origins. Similar to the wild boar both aesthetically and temperamentally, it actually possesses the typical traits of an animal suited to the wild life. Of medium-small size and black coat that lengthens in the cervical tract almost resembling a mane. The dark coat seems to be linked to the diet rich in melanin contained in the acorns.

5 breeds, a Supply Chain

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