Fakes Parmigiano Reggiano, Asiago and Pecorino Romano seized at Anuga in Cologne

Reggio Emilia, Italy, October 8th, 2013 - A new attempt to counterfeiting was foiled by the Consortia for the Protection of the Parmigiano Reggiano, Asiago and Pecorino Romano Cheeses at Anuga, the international food trade fair currently under way in Cologne, Germany, where Italian PDOs jointly reported to the German Authorities and obtained immediate seizure of imitation Parmigiano-Reggiano (under the name “parmesan”), Asiago and Pecorino Romano (also under the name “romano”), which had been manufactured by a US company.

This quick responsefollowed a report made by the legal counsels of the Consortia involved. Last year, the Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Consortium took similar measures at Sial in Paris (which, together with Cologne, is the seat, every other year, of this renowned international trade fair), obtaining immediate withdrawal of “Parmesan” manufactured by three US companies and by an Egyptian one.

"Also in this case - explained the Consortium Director, Riccardo Deserti - we took action in a clear-cut and timely manner, consistent with the national and EU legislation, which also provides for the obligation of  "ex-officio" protection of PDOs in all EU Member States." "The action taken by the Consortium and by the German authorities - said Deserti - thus prevented a product clearly exploiting protected names from being presented to international 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."

"We do hope that this new seizure, which was made at one of the most famous agri-food trade fairs in the world and the effective action taken by the Protection Consortia - emphasized the President of the Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Consortium, Giuseppe Alai - will help to prevent these types of instance that continue inside and outside the European borders: however, this is one of the reasons why it is important that our actions be accompanied by a more effective regulation system in terms of recognition of PDOs and prosecution of frauds at a global level, because that is the base of a more effective protection of the interests of producers and consumers."