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New Resources to Defend Common Cheese Terms

November 2, 2020

NMPF has worked with USDEC and the Consortium for Common Food Names to make significant advancements in the fight to defend the rights of the U.S. dairy industry to use common cheese terms such as parmesan, asiago or feta. This effort’s cornerstone has been urging the U.S. government to make safeguarding common food and wine terms a core policy objective in all current and future trade negotiations.

On the heels of a bipartisan group of 61 senators that sent a letter in July to the U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Department of Agriculture urging them to enhance protections for American-made food and wine exports, a group of House members, led by Reps. Jim Costa (D-CA), Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Angie Craig (D-MN), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Ron Kind (D-WI), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), have led a similar effort yielding support from a total of 111 House members.

The safeguard of common food names against misuse of geographical indications (GIs) is a critical issue for the U.S. dairy industry because U.S. dairy jobs are in danger if Europe’s destructive campaign to close foreign markets to U.S. cheese is not stopped. NMPF worked with USDEC to develop a one-page fact sheet and video showing what is at risk for U.S. dairy and making it clear the issue affects the entire industry. These new resources aim to increase awareness of this critical trade issue as NMPF and its allies ensure that U.S. cheese exports to foreign markets are not blocked.