Greece wins exclusive rights to market feta in Canada

Nearly a decade after winning exclusive rights in Europe to market its popular tangy feta cheese, Greece has scored a similar victory in Canada, the agriculture minister said on Friday.

“We have achieved our objective. Even in Canada, nobody can call the cheese ‘feta,’” Agriculture Minister Athanassios Tsaftaris told Vima radio.

Instead Canadian producers must label their cheese “feta-style,” the minister said.

The issue arose during trade negotiations between the European Union and Canada, which signed a deal yesterday after four years of talks.

According to Tsaftaris, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had specifically called European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to press the point.

“The appellation of origin of European products must be respected,” the minister said, adding that Greece would next take the battle to the American market, to claim rights for feta and Greek yogurt.