Thirty counterfeits ceased by the consortium
The protection body reports on six-month activities worldwide: from polish “parmezza”, to vietnamese “reggianto” and colombian “parmessano”. Actions to “eradicate” fraudulent activities harmful to consumers and producers have been strengthened.
From “Parmessano” in Colombia to “Reggianto” in Vietnam, and “Parmezza” in Poland: the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium took a true tour around the world, especially the world of imitations and evocations, during the first semester of 2016 while protecting the most renown and imitated Italian PDO designation in the world.
The result is evidenced in about thirty 30 counterfeits ceased by the consortium as well as formal complaints that generated ex officio actions on the part of the competent authorities in eight European countries.
“Our actions – explains Alessandro Bezzi, President of the Consortium – are part of the activities to counter fakes in which we have been engaged for many years and that were further strengthened in the last 24 months, especially in reference to non-European countries. That area sees the highest number of real frauds against consumers and damages to our producers, yet there are no regulations in place – contrary to what we have achieved in the EU – requiring the authorities of each individual country to forcefully act ex officio for the protection of the PDO”.
It is not by chance that the United States has top ranking for fake references to the Parmigiano Reggiano denomination or for adding product images on packs that have nothing to do with the content, with five formal warnings sent to five companies marketing sauces, cheeses (some containing also cellulose), ready-to-eat dishes or packs of grated cheese deceptively inspired to Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Surprisingly, ranking second is Vietnam, where the Consortium raised three objections against the registration of the names “Reggianto”, “Parmesan” (denomination already in use by the Consortium) and even “Parmigiano Reggiano”, preceded by the name of the producer.
“In fact, – stresses the President of the protection body Alessandro Bezzi – such high number of attempts of fakes in Vietnam is unprecedented and certainly related to the increased attention paid to our product in this part of the world. The actions taken confirm that our system of protection works well and everywhere, though it still needs to be supported by institutional actions on the part of the authorities of each individual country”.
“The fight against counterfeit products – adds Bezzi – represents also one of the best ways of promoting the authentic Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, because for each brand name or product recalled by us a corresponding portion of the cheated consumers is oriented towards the original product.
“We have opposed the registration of evocative trademarks in Japan, Argentina (both with 2 attempts of false references to Parmigiano Reggiano), Bolivia, China, Colombia (attempt to register the name “Parmessano”) and the Ukraine (warning about the registration of the name “Parmedzyano”).
In the EU area, out-of-court and administrative actions were taken against two Spanish producers and a Polish company (that intended to register the name “Parmezza”), and further interventions by competent authorities in Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain and Sweden in response to reports filed by the Consortium.
“The map of fraudulent attempts – observes Chairman Bezzi – is very extended, but we hope that the increase of our counter actions will become a strong deterrent for companies that have no misgivings about using denominations or deceptive wording on the packs.
The protection of PDO principle needs to be asserted in all countries and is proceeding at slow pace in the lengthy TTIP negotiations. Though the matter of PDO protection remains a completely open matter, we will continue to press on this subject at all levels – Bezzi concludes”.