Feta cheese Row Sours EU-Canada Trade Deal

by Rachel Baker on December 16, 2013

Here’s an interesting story if you like Feta cheese. .

Feta cheese makers and many politicians in Greece feel sour about an EU free trade deal with Canada which they believe threatens the uniqueness of the protected brand.

The status of distinctive European foods is one of the toughest issues in such deals – and the Canada agreement could serve as a model for an even bigger EU trade deal with the US.

Feta is among 145 iconic food and drink names covered by an EU Protected Geographical Indication. The special status prevents other manufacturers in the EU copying the original, traditional product and marketing it like the original.

The list includes many other cheeses such as Italy’s Parmesan and Gorgonzola, various hams such as Bayonne (France) and Parma (Italy), and some beers such as Bayerisches (Germany) and Ceske (Czech Republic).

The EU-Canada deal, clinched in October after more than four years of hard bargaining, still has to be ratified by the parliaments of all 28 member states, each government and Canada’s 10 provinces. So the deal is unlikely to take effect until 2015 at the earliest.

And trouble is maturing in the Greek parliament.

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