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NMPF Stresses Need for Improved USTR Approach to Geographical Indications Issue

September 9, 2013

NMPF has joined with the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN) and several other cooperatives, proprietary companies, and organizations to send a strong message to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) regarding the need for an improved approach to tackling the problem of escalating efforts by the European Union (EU) to monopolize the use of many common food names. For instance, in several U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) partners, the EU is on the brink of successfully restricting use of cheeses widely made in the U.S. such as parmesan, gorgonzola, and several others. NMPF and the letter’s other signatories stressed the importance of tackling this issue not solely as an Intellectual Property topic, but also as a de facto barrier to market access.

Through its membership in CCFN, NMPF has been actively supporting efforts to oppose these naming restrictions not only in our export markets, but also here at home. The launch of U.S.-EU FTA talks threatens to impose these name product limitations on our own domestic market, a concern of even greater proportion than the sizable export challenges we currently face.