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CCFN Releases Study Analyzing Losses to Dairy if EU Seizes Common Food Names

November 16, 2016

A new economic study commissioned by the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN) – of which NMPF is a member – has determined that a decline in U.S. cheese consumption due to the seizure of common food names by the European Union could amount to $5.2 billion in 10 years and drive a resulting cumulative farm losses of $59 billion in revenue.

The analysis, conducted by Informa Economic IEG, found that imposing geographical indications restrictions on a wide range of generic terms which originated many year ago in the EU would cost the U.S. dairy industry billions of dollars, slash domestic cheese consumption and increase prices for consumers. NMPF has strongly supported CCFN’s battle to safeguard the use of common food names out of concern that restrictions on those types of terms could have severe consequences for America’s dairy farmers through reduced demand for U.S. cheeses and thereby for U.S. milk.

“The damage Europe’s GI agenda could do to the U.S. dairy industry is severe,” stated Jim Mulhern. “By 2025, our dairy farmers would lose up to 15 percent of their income and the U.S. dairy herd would shrink by up to 9 percent, or 850,000 cows. Thousands of dairy farmers would be forced out of business.”

Jaime Castaneda, NMPF’s Sr. Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Trade Policy and CCFN’s Executive Director, noted that: “The United States must aggressively oppose the carving up of markets and refuse to bestow monopolies on a few privileged European suppliers. The use of common names by the U.S. dairy industry—and indeed all other sectors relying on typical food terms—should be aggressively preserved, both for domestic and international use.”