White cheese “Feta”, of French and Danish origin in the United States’ market

Letter-reply of the Minister of Foreign Affairs/ Embassy of Paris /Office of Economic and Commercial Affairs,  to Mr. Michalis Arvanitis, concerning the complaint for the PDO name “Feta”.

The white cheese “Valbreso Feta and FetaLight”, although produced in France, by Lactalis Group of companies, in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, namely by the milk of  Lacaune breed lamps, it is not available in the country, given that it is destined for exports to third countries.

-According to the American legislation for the PDO and PGI products, feta cheese fits the category of the generic products, ie general use and presence, in order not to be identified by the consumers with specific origin. Moreover, since March 2011, the International Dairy Food Association (IDFA) is a member of the international initiative against the food protection via PDO and PGI (Consortium For Common Food Names), an initiative that is expected to create serious problems to the efforts for the recognition of feta cheese as a pure Greek product.

Regarding specifically France, the competent department for the region of production of the cheese in question is the “Direction départementale de la cohésion sociale et de la protection des populations” (DDCSPP) de l'Aveyron (9 rue de Bruxelles, BP 3125, 12031 RODEZCEDEX 9, τηλ : 0033 5 65 73 52 00, φαξ: 0033 5 65 73 52 01, E-mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). We note that our Office has exchanged long correspondence with the relevant competent department of the region of Paris, Direction Départementale de la Protection des Populations –Service Commerce et Distribution 8 rue Froissart, 75153 PARISCEDEX 03, τηλ : 0033 1 40 27 16 00, fax : 0033 1 42 71 09 77 /0033 1 42 71 09 14, E-mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) that comes under the Ministry of Economy and Finance ( http://www.economie.gouv.fr/dgccrf/coordonnees-des-DDPP-et-DDCSPP ) concerning the feta issue, in order to remove products that do not have the right to use the particular name in the French territory.

-Our office has already addressed a question to the above competent French authority, in order to investigate, from our point of view, the legislative basis, on which rests the production of the “feta” type product in France and its export in the US market, as well as imposing sanctions on the responsible production company.

The Manager,

Panayotis Zaragkas

Consultant ECA A’

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