The consortium obtained withdrawal of Parmesan from SIAL 2012 in Paris

The action of the Consortium against four companies. Measures by French authorities have been requested.

Reggio Emilia, Italy, October 26, 2012  - Exactly one year after the seize of “Parmesan” at Anuga in Cologne, Germany, the Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Consortium dealt another harsh blow to companies liable of infringements of the protection of the “King of Cheese”.

The protection consortium has obtained immediate withdrawal from the exhibition of "Parmesan" produced by three U.S. companies and by an Egyptian one, exhibiting this product at Sial in Paris, which, together with Anuga, is one of the most important and prestigious international agri-food fairs. 

"In many ways, - said the Director of the Consortium, Leo Bertozzi - it is surprising and even paradoxical that such an action is necessary in such a prestigious centre for agri-food excellence. However, our prompt reaction and the relevant report to the competent French authorities, in particular the Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Repression des Fraudes (the French authority competent for the protection of PDO and PGI statuses on the market) have achieved the withdrawal of the infringing product from the exhibition".

"The action taken by the Consortium and by the French authorities - says Bertozzi - thus prevented a product clearly exploiting protected names from being presented to French and European distributors. Indeed, not only the name "Parmigiano Reggiano", but also all evocative names, such as "Parmesan", may only be used for our cheese, which is linked to a well-defined geographic area and to the specific production regulation, and such names may not be used to designate other products, since this would amount to deceiving consumers. "

"Our system of supervision and the cooperation with the supervisory authorities of the various European Union Member States - said the Consortium's Director - have been successful also in this instance, and we hope that the system of protection of Parmigiano Reggiano will shortly be enhanced by the entry into force of the regulation issued by the European Parliament and the Council providing for "ex officio" protection. This regulation requires Member States to implement those control measures and sanctions that today need to be started by the Consortium" 

The Consortium has reserved the right to start any action aimed at the protection of a brand whose chain has 20,000 stakeholders against the companies involved in exhibiting "Parmesan" at Sial in Paris.