Greece seems to be a step closer to protecting its yogurt after a European Commission spokesperson announced the label “Greek yogurt” cannot be used for yogurts produced outside of Greece.
As tensions mount between Greece and Prague, an EU official told EURACTIV.com, a media outlet specialising in EU policies, “The Commission is in contact with the Czech authorities on this matter and expressed its position in a detailed opinion that was transmitted to the Czech authorities.”
Greek Minister of Agricultural Development and Food, Evangelos Apostolou, sent a letter to the EU’s agriculture and food safety Commissioners, Phil Hogan and Vytenis Andriukaitis, expressing his disagreement with a 2015 Czech Republic’s draft decree laying down requirements for milk and dairy products, ice creams and edible fats and oils to the Commission.
For Athens, both the name “Greek” yogurt and “Greek-style” yogurt is contrary to the EU Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers, which says consumers should not be misled.
According to EUROACTIV, an EU executive is currently examining two letters from Greece’s government regarding the actions of the Czech authorities on this issue and are following up the matter.
“The product name “Greek yogurt” is not protected by a geographical indication. But a Commission source said in July that it was a fundamental requirement of the Union rules on food information that “food labelling must not mislead consumers as to the characteristics of the food including its identity and origin”, the spokesperson said.