Greek feta cheese will be sold in China under a Protected designations of origin (PDO) mark, after intense and long-standing negotiations between the EU and China on geographical indications of products came to a successful conclusion, according to secure sources that informed protothema.gr.
The agreement, which is expected to be officially announced by the European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan and China’s Commerce Minister for the negotiations in Brussels by tomorrow evening, effectively secures the Greekness of the feta as a PDO, which was also the main aim of the Greek government.
The agreement reportedly will protect 100 European products sold in the Chinese market (including the Greek feta cheese) and 100 Chinese products sold in the EU by granting them exclusive designations of origin, which means selling products using similar names, labels, branding, imagery will be prohibited in both markets.
According to secure information, the deal includes two important provisions:
1. Within eight years, all products already on the market in China using the name ‘Feta’ which had been marketed in China before June 2017 will be phased out, after which the list of names has been made public.
2. Products that may remain on the Chinese market will not be permitted to use symbols, images, graphics and names referring to Greece as a country of origin.
These two paragraphs simply mean that the Greek Feta, like the other 99 European agricultural products, can be labelled and sold in China only if they have been produced in specific European regions (Feta in Greece). Any other producers of similar products should find a different – less known – name for their product.