US Cheese Makers Rename Products Sold Abroad Due To EU Restrictions

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United States cheese makers are forced to rename their products sold abroad due to European Union (EU) restrictions, according to a report Wednesday.

American cheese producers are trying to think up creative names for their dairy products due to the strict regulations of the EU, The Wall Street Journal reported. The EU’s policy restricts the naming of cheese based on the region of its origin. The policy also forces any cheese producer to abide by regulations if they are exporting to a country that has a trade agreement with the European Union. American cheese producers are forced to get creative with name choices in order to combat the EU’s strict guidelines.

“It’s really hard,” said Jeff Schwager, president of the Sartori Company cheese factory. “The sales are really slow,” he said. This company changed the names of their cheeses from Parmesan to “Sarmesan” and Asiago to “Sartiago,” causing some confusion from customers over the unique name choices.

“This means that our exporters now face fewer opportunities for their products, and trading partners are emboldened to see how much further they can push boundaries of creating nontariff trade barriers,” said Jim Mulhern, president and chief executive of the National Milk Producers Federation. The U.S Dairy Export Council and the International Dairy Foods Association are also trying to lobby against the strict name regulations.

The restrictions also cause issues for other European countries. Arla Foods, an international dairy producer, is now calling their feta cheese “salad cheese” or “white cheese” since their product is not made in Greece. Even though “feta” is not a specific place the EU argued that it “is so closely connected to Greece as to be identified as an inherently Greek product,” according to Fox News.

“It’s the F-word we can’t say,” said Theis Brøgger, a representative of Arla Foods’ branch in Denmark, one of the world’s largest dairy processors. They now make sure to use a gigantic picture of the cheese.

However, for some American cheese producers naming a cheese after a pun is raking in sales. “My wife said ‘no way’ to the name Holey Cow and begged me not to name it that, but everyone loves it,” said Reggie Jones, the owner of Central Coast Creamery. “She now admits she was wrong.”

The United States produced 12.2 billion pounds of cheese in 2016, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.

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