Italian agri-food products have always been subject to imitations that exploit their notoriety to get more sales. This is the case of the recent affair concerning Parmesan Cheese, the fake Parmigiano Reggiano. Outside the European Union, Parmesan Cheese has a turnover of 2 billion euros for about 200 thousand tons of product, equal to 15 times the volume of exported Parmigiano Reggiano DOP.
Kraft Parmesan Cheese threatens “true” Italian excellence
The US group Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC carried out an attempt to register the brand: “Kraft Parmesan Cheese” in Ecuador. The competent Office, after receiving the formal opposition of Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium, established that the request of the American multinational cannot be accepted, as the brand: “Has significant similarities with the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), and takes advantage of the reputation, quality and other characteristics due to the geographical environment where it’s produced”.
It is also important to say that: “Kraft Foods Group Brands, LLC. has no relationship with Italy, even less with the place of origin of Parmigiano Reggiano DOP (the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia and Modena and the neighbouring municipalities of the provinces of Mantua and Bologna)”.
Why this is a great victory for Italy
The word “Parmesan” evokes Parmigiano Reggiano and, in Countries where there is no protection, the consumers can be easily deceived and pushed to purchase a product that “sounds” Italian even if it’s not.
“It is clear that Parmigiano Reggiano has such strong ties with its area of origin that it would be impossible to reproduce it anywhere else, even using the same production techniques” continue the Ecuadorian authorities.
After a nearly three-year legal battle with multinational Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, the Italian Consortium managed to prevent Kraft Parmesan Cheese from being registered as a trademark in Ecuador. A protective action for both: manufacturing companies and foreign consumers who look for the real value of excellence that respect the rigor of production and the typical principles of true Made in Italy.