EC takes Denmark to court over illegal use of name ‘feta’

The European Commission on Wednesday referred Denmark to the Court of Justice of the EU for exporting white cheese to non-EU countries after labelling it as “feta”, the characteristic and Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese of Greece.

In a statement, the Commission said that Denmark-based companies continue to produce and export the cheese, in direct breach of EU agricultural laws. In its referral, it charged Denmark with “failing to prevent or stop” the practice.

It also warned that “this conduct not only violates current EU law, but it is also likely to frustrate the ongoing negotiations between the European Union and third countries for the conclusion of bilateral agreements that ensure the protection of European PDOs and the promotion of EU quality products outside the EU.”

Prior to the referral to the Court, authorities in Denmark had been warned in January 2018 by formal notice. “Since Denmark has not addressed the issues raised, the Commission has decided to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU,” the Commission said.