The Feta Trade Agreement: What You Need to Know

Feta cheese has been a beloved ingredient in Greek cuisine for centuries. However, the name “feta” has also been used to describe similar cheeses produced in other countries, creating a lot of confusion among consumers. In 2002, the European Union (EU) established the Feta Trade Agreement to protect the name and ensure that only cheese made in Greece can be marketed as “feta.”

What is the Feta Trade Agreement?

The Feta Trade Agreement is a geographical indication (GI) that protects the name “feta” and restricts its use to cheese made in certain regions of Greece using specific production methods. The EU granted Greece an exclusive right to use the name “feta” for cheese that meets these criteria, effectively preventing other countries from using the name for their own cheeses.

Why was it necessary?

The Feta Trade Agreement was necessary to protect the cultural and economic significance of feta cheese in Greece. Feta cheese is a traditional product of Greece, and its production has deep roots in the country`s history and culture. By granting Greece the exclusive right to use the name “feta,” the EU recognized the historical, cultural, and economic value of the cheese and sought to protect it from imitations.

What are the benefits?

The Feta Trade Agreement has several benefits for Greece and its producers. It protects the market value of feta by preventing imitations from being sold under its name. It also ensures that consumers are getting authentic feta cheese made using traditional methods, which helps to maintain the quality and taste of the cheese. In addition, the agreement provides a legal framework for producers to market their cheese outside of Greece, thereby increasing their profitability and contributing to the country`s economy.

What are the implications for other countries?

The Feta Trade Agreement has significant implications for other countries that produce similar cheeses. Countries that previously marketed their cheeses as “feta” must now use a different name to avoid infringing on the Feta Trade Agreement. This has led to a diversification of the cheese market and an increase in demand for alternative cheeses. While some countries have expressed opposition to the agreement, it remains in place, and producers must comply with its regulations.

Conclusion

The Feta Trade Agreement is an important legal framework that protects the name, quality, and authenticity of Greek feta cheese. It has significant economic and cultural implications for Greece and its producers and has led to a diversification of the cheese market. As consumers, it is essential to recognize the significance of the Feta Trade Agreement and support the production of authentic and traditional Greek feta cheese.