At the 2017 edition of Anuga, the most important food&beverage trade fair in the world, action by the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium led to the confiscation of fake Parmigiano Reggiano.
Two products with names that clearly evoke those for exclusive use by Parmigiano Reggiano (“Parmesan”) were identified at Anuga in Cologne and reported by the Consortium to the Germany authorities.
The cheeses bore names that were in clear conflict with the judgement obtained by the Consortium in February 2008 at the Court of Justice of the European Communities, which decreed that the term “Parmesan” is not a generic name, but rather an evocation of the name “Parmigiano Reggiano” and cannot be used for cheeses that do not comply with the Italian PDO specifications.
“The promptness of the German authorities’ intervention following our complaint – points out the President of the Consortium, Nicola Bertinelli – is related to the fact that, after years of legal action, we obtained European Union legislation that leaves no room for doubt regarding protection, and which also includes the obligation of ‘ex officio’ PDO protection in all EU member states, which have direct responsibility in terms of vigilance.”
“This is the context – continues Bertinelli – that has enabled our system of vigilance and repression to reach levels of effectiveness in Europe that are not yet possible in the rest of the world and to which the European Union must absolutely aim. Outside the Union there is widespread deceptive use of evocations of our name and of the geographical origin of Parmigiano Reggiano, with obvious negative repercussions on our exports.”
“It is not the first time – says in conclusion the President of the Consortium, Nicola Bertinelli – that a confiscation takes place during an international trade fair showcasing outstanding agri-food products, where lack of scruples pushes some to think that the rigidity of market checks can be relaxed. On the contrary, the result was the request of immediate confiscation, with exposure in such a setting that discourages those who commit fraud or produce counterfeit products that have already led to severe sentences for different companies.”
Anuga represents an interesting context for the Consortium which, in the first nine months of 2017, has recorded an overall increase of 4% in exports and has set itself the ambitious goal of exceeding the target of 50,000 tonnes of exports by the end of the year. Participation in international trade shows is therefore one of the strategic actions to be employed for establishing the product on the global market.