Today, the increasing infringement of the EU’s long-standing protection of milk and milk products designations was the subject of a vote in the European Parliament. The European Parliament voted in favour of an amendment to further strengthen and enforce the protection of milk designations.
In future, designations reserved for milk and milk products will also be protected against any direct or indirect commercial use of the designation for similar products or products which are considered substitutable and do not meet the relevant definition, provided such use exploits the reputation associated with the designation. In addition, milk and milk products will be protected against any misuse, imitation or evocation, even if the composition or true nature of the product is indicated or accompanied by an expression such as “style”, “type”, “method”, “as produced in”, “imitation”, “flavour”, “substitute”, “like” or similar. Milk designations will also be protected against any other commercial indication or practice which is likely to mislead the consumer as to the true nature or composition of the product.
“Following the 2017 Tofu Town decision of the European Court of Justice, in which it impressively confirmed the designation protection for milk and milk products, this is a further milestone, which will also sustainably strengthen a more effective enforcement of the designation protection for milk and milk products”, says Dr. Jörg Rieke, Director of the German Dairy Industry Association MIV.
The above-mentioned additions essentially correspond to the regulations that already exist at EU level for protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications.
It remains to be seen what the milk protection supplement adopted today by the European Parliament will ultimately look like, as agreement on this is still to be reached in the pending trialogue between the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission.