An End To 'Danish Feta': EU court confirms 'Feta' can only be Greek


The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ended the ridiculous notion of Danish feta, thus siding in Greece's struggle to protect the term "Feta".

Denmark was reprimanded by the Luxembourg-based court for not blocking local companies from using the name for sales outside of the European Union.

The CJEU agreed that feta is a part of Greece's cultural heritage with a history that spans over 6,000 years.

“By failing to stop the use of the designation ‘Feta’ for cheese intended for export to third countries, Denmark has failed to fulfil its obligations under EU law,” judges said.

Danish Feta
Danish cheese advertised as Feta.

In the case brought by the European Commission and backed by Cyprus, Denmark had argued that an export ban could be seen as an obstacle to trade.

Feta has been designated a traditional Greek product by the EU executive since 2002, giving it legal protection in the 27-country bloc.


The CJEU had in 2005 endorsed the label. The issue is more than just national pride for Greece which produces about 120,000 tons of feta annually.


Feta (Greek: φέτα, féta) is a Greek brined white cheese made from sheep's milk or from a mixture of sheep and goat's milk. It is soft, with small or no holes, a compact touch, few cuts, and no skin.

Crumbly with a slightly grainy texture, it is formed into large blocks and aged in brine. Its flavour is tangy and salty, ranging from mild to sharp.

Feta is used as a table cheese, in salads such as Greek salad, and in pastries, notably the phyllo-based Greek dishes spanakopita "spinach pie" and tyropita "cheese pie".

It is often served with olive oil or olives, and sprinkled with aromatic herbs such as oregano. It can also be served cooked (often grilled), as part of a sandwich, in omelettes, and many other dishes.

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