The European Commission has said it has sent a final written warning to the German Government over failure to abide by the EU’s legislation regarding the name “Parmigiano Reggiano”.

Use of the name, which has protected designation of origin (PDO) status, is by EU law exclusively reserved to producers within a certain geographical area in Italy who make the cheese in line with a binding specification. The Commission has called on Germany to give full protection to this PDO within its territory.

Under the European legislation on PDOs and protected geographical indications (PGIs), member states are required to protect registered names against any misuse or imitation, even if the true origin of the product is indicated or the name is translated. Parmigiano Reggiano has been registered as a protected name since 1996.

“Cheeses not made in line with the Parmigiano Reggiano specification continue to be sold in German territory under the name “Parmesan”, which in the eyes of the Commission is a translation through French of Parmigiano Reggiano,” the Commission said.