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Agreement Reached on Canadian Feta Rights

Translation By Lisa Darilis

According to an agreement reached by the European Union, it appears that Canada will be able to manufacture "feta" cheese, but under specific conditions where they have to legibly and discernibly differentiate its status of: type, style, imitation, or combined, and where the geographic location and providence of the manufacturing of the product was.

The issue was placed before the EU by Greek commissioner, Maria Damanakis, a few weeks ago, when the issue had to go for approval between the E.U. and Canada. In the beginning it looked likely that Canada would be allowed to use the name "feta" in their production of this cheese. This issue was also deemed of high importance to the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, in his recent meeting in Brussels with Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras.

The negotiations of European Commission president Barroso and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper over this topic were of vital and direct European interest. A very advantageous agreement was secured for both Greek and European interests.

The agreement provided for the following:

• A clause of "vested interest" to exist with the terms and conditions for the manufacturing of "feta."

• Under the terms and conditions, this "feta" is allowed to be manufactured only under the supervision and indications pertaining to the type, style, whether or not imitation cheese, and legible reference to the geographic location of where the product was manufactured.

• This will also accordingly apply to other European cheeses, such as Asiago, Fontina, Gorgonzola, and Munster.

The negotiations were difficult, but resulted and chiefly created a good precedent for forthcoming negotiations of these type agreements between Europe, the U.S. and Asia.