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Fresh Produce

'Feta' Is Greek, EU Top Court Says In Snub To Denmark

Greece on Thursday scored a win in its fight to protect their right to the term 'Feta' as Europe's top court reprimanded Denmark for not blocking local companies from using the name for sales outside the European Union.

Greece claims feta as part of its cultural heritage because it has made the sheep and goat milk cheese for 6,000 years.

The Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) agreed with its assertion.

"By failing to stop the use of the designation 'Feta' for cheese intended for export to third countries, Denmark has failed to fulfil its obligations under EU law," judges said.

Export Ban

In the case brought by the European Commission and backed by Cyprus, Denmark had argued that an export ban could be seen as an obstacle to trade.

Feta has been designated a traditional Greek product by the EU executive since 2002, giving it legal protection in the 27-country bloc. The CJEU had in 2005 endorsed the label.

The issue is more than just national pride for Greece which produces about 120,000 tonnes of feta annually.

In March 2021, The European Union recognised Cyprus' halloumi cheese as a protected designation of origin (PDO) product. EU Health Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, described the ruling as "a historic achievement for Cyprus" and added that "years of efforts" went into pushing the legislation forward.

Read More: Emmi To Acquire US Feta Cheese Brand Athenos

News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest fresh produce news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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