Parmigiano Reggiano in Russia: fight against faks and doublig of exports

The name Parmigiano Reggiano is registered in the Russian Federation as a protected designation of origin. 1,000 tons of export objective

Rome, July 25, 2013 - 'Now the name Parmigiano Reggiano will be fully protected also in the Russian Federation, benefiting both producers and consumers of that country.' This was the statement of Riccardo Deserti, Director of the Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Consortium, commenting the decision of Russian authorities to accept the registration of the name Parmigiano Reggiano as a designation of origin in the whole Russian Federation. This decision was made on June 19 and published in the Official Journal of the Federal Service for Intellectual Property on July 12, 2013.

'In the Russian Federation – explained Deserti - designations of origin are governed under the Civil Code, which fully covers intellectual property. Now, thanks to registration, the Consortium will be able to take action to prevent misuse of the designation of origin 'Parmigiano Reggiano' according to the protection framework in place.'

However, the wind that blows on imitations and counterfeits in the Russian Federation is even colder.  'The provision that governs protection deals with a series of cases that are often used by counterfeiters to exploit the fame of Parmigiano Reggiano to sell their cheese. In no case, for example, shall the use of a geographical name related to Parmigiano Reggiano be allowed (e.g. Parma, Reggio Emilia), translations shall be forbidden - which enables authorities to take action if the original name is written in Russian using the Cyrillic scrip - as is the use of words such as "kind", "type", "imitation" and other similar expressions that may mislead consumers with regards to the place of origin and special features of the product. 

"It is a comprehensive protection –  Deserti continued – essentially similar to the one provided by the rules of the World Trade Organization for the Geographical Indications of wines and spirits, and it is on this basis that we aim at safeguarding Parmigiano Reggiano producers from illegitimate practices and enabling Russian consumers to make transparent and conscious choices".

"This result - Deserti added – is particularly important in the light of the rapid economic development of the Russian Federation, where the potential growth of our export is, paradoxically, demonstrated by the numerous cases of counterfeiting and misuse that we have found in recent months".

'Along with a tighter and more effective fight against fraud - continued the Director of the Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Consortium – we can thus focus on a strong relaunch of investments by exporting companies and on the development of Parmigiano Reggiano exports.'

"In the context of an export market of 43,500 tons of Parmigiano Reggiano, which account for one third of the annual production, the Russian market has great potential. Already today – pointed out Deserti - there are 26 companies that have obtained permission to export Parmigiano Reggiano to the Russian Federation, for an overall export of about 10,000 wheels, worth 5 million Euro. Figures are still small – concluded Deserti - but they have doubled since 2007 and we expect them to double again in a few years, reaching Russian consumers both through specialised stores of Italian high quality products and through large retailers".