"Reggianito" reported and taken off shelves at Anuga in Cologne

New measures taken by the Consortium against unlawful products displayed at the fair

Reggio Emilia, 13 October 2015  -  Three products with designations that clearly evoke those used exclusively by Parmigiano Reggiano cheese have been identified at Anuga in Cologne, and reported by the Consortium to the German protection authorities.

The fair is one of the largest international agrifood events and is held in Cologne biennially, alternating with the Sial fair in Paris. The gates had only just opened a few minutes before when the Consortium took measures resulting in a product named "Reggianito" being taken off shelves, whilst two others were also withdrawn for health and safety reasons noted by the authorities.

It was in the French capital that the protection Authority took similar steps in October last year to have 7 products removed. The products carried designations in clear conflict with the judgement awarded to the Consortium in February 2008 by the Court of Justice of the European Communities, when it was ruled that the term "Parmesan" is not generic, but instead represents an evocation of the "Parmigiano Reggiano" designation, and cannot be used for cheeses which do not conform with the guidelines of the Italian PDO.

A similar situation occurred at Anuga 2015, with the immediate intervention of the legal department of the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium in Italy and Germany, the reporting of the unlawful products displayed at the fair, and the intervention of the German authorities, which confirmed its recall.

"The prompt action taken by the German authorities following our complaint," stated the Consortium's President Giuseppe Alai "is linked to the fact that, following years of disputes, we have obtained legislation from the European Union which leaves no room for doubt regarding protection. Amongst other points, it involves the “ex officio” obligation to protect PDO designations in all EU member states, with member states being directly responsible for supervision".

"Following a number of favourable rulings returned to the Consortium by German judges in similar situations," Alai said, "this is the first time measures have been taken at Anuga by German public authorities that supervise PDO designations”.

"It is on these foundations," Alai continued, "that our system of supervision and repression in Europe has achieved levels of effectiveness which have yet to prove possible worldwide. The European Union must focus on this as much as possible in TTIP negotiations with the United States, where widespread misleading use of references to our designation and the geographic origins of Parmigiano Reggiano are made. These clearly have negative repercussions on our potential exports as a result".

"The measures taken at Anuga, thanks to the cooperation of the German authorities," noted the President of the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium, "have resulted in a satisfactory outcome. They also act as a deterrent against illegitimate evocation phenomena, but more severe legislation is needed as a matter of urgency, along with European supervision which kills off any actions by those who continue to present themselves unlawfully and misleadingly at such major events."