Foreign threat to Greek feta

Foreign threat to Greek feta

Greek authorities and local dairy industries are up against yet another case of feta imitation and the unlicensed use of the name of Greece’s most popular cheese.

Kathimerini understands the trademark “Athenos Feta” has been registered in Chile. And it may be, of course, that the name “Athenos” is more Greek compared to the name “Valbreso Feta,” the French imitation produced by dairy giant Lactalis and revealed by Kathimerini last week, but “Athenos Feta” is not produced in Greece but in Wisconsin in the USA.

The new case of non-Greek feta became known to the local authorities just 10 days ago and what is expected to be done in the first phase is the submission of an objection with Chile’s Intellectual Property Organization, especially since there is a bilateral agreement between the European Union and the Latin American country based on which feta cheese is protected as a geographical indication.

The illegal use of the name “feta” is not the only thing in common between “Athenos Feta” and “Valbreso Feta,” as in 2020 Athenos, then owned by Kraft Heinz, was acquired by Lactalis. It was then sold in 2021 to the Swiss firm Emmi.

Greek authorities are also considering appealing to the European Court.

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