© Copyright Embassy of Greece 1996-2005. All Rights Reserved.
15 June, 2002
Greece, which has been producing feta for over 6,000 years, will gain the right to exclusivity over its traditional sheep and goats milk cheese under the terms of a proposal by the European Union's executive Commission released on Friday.
The recommendation the Commission will make to EU ministers is that feta cheese should receive geographical protection status, eliminating production elsewhere.
''Protection of geographical names is key to promoting quality produce and increasing transparency. Feta cheese should not be an exception,'' EU Farm Commissioner Franz Fischler told reporters.
Under the proposal, the production of feta will be limited to certain areas in Greece, and strict product specifications must be followed.
Greece has been trying for eight years to attain geographical name protection for its traditional cheese.
EU ministers have up to three months to issue a ruling. If no decision is made, the Commission's proposal automatically takes effect.
Manufacturers in other EU states, or Greek producers that fail to adhere to specifications, will have five years to halt production or change the name of the cheese they produce.
Feta cheese from other countries is usually made of cow's milk, using a different technology.
Source: Athens News Agency