The Parmigiano Reggiano PDO Consortium’s battle for the protection of consumers against counterfeiting doesn’t stop. After a long legal battle, the American giant Campbell’s – which can boast a turnover of 8 billion euros per year – has accepted the Consortium’s requests to remove any reference to Parmigiano Reggiano from the labels of its products. On the ‘Prego’ sauces line there were in fact pictures showing portions of cheese with the well-known branding dots that are imprinted on every Parmigiano Reggiano cheese wheel. But Campbell’s sauces contain the ‘Parmesan’ ingredient, which has nothing to do with the original Italian PDO ‘King of Cheeses’.
For this reason, the Consortium – with the support of the law firm Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP – filed a lawsuit and requested Campbell’s to remove the misleading images. Parmigiano Reggiano is a PDO product and, as such, can only be produced in a specific area: the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and part of Bologna and Mantua provinces. Moreover, the use of the trademark of origin (the famous dots bearing the name: ‘Parmigiano Reggiano’) can only refer to the authentic Italian product.
PARMIGIANO REGGIANO PDO CONSORTIUM IN DEFENCE OF AUTHENTICITY
This is not the first battle that the Consortium faces against multinationals with almost unlimited economic resources.
A few months ago the Consortium filed an appeal against Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC. The company was trying to obtain the registration of ‘Kraft Parmesan Cheese’ as an official trademark in New Zealand, where the Consortium has registered the Parmigiano Reggiano PDO trademark 20 years ago. There are many cases against Kraft in several countries: Australia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Thailand, and Ecuador. “The Parmigiano Reggiano PDO Consortium is attentive and ready to fight any fraud – pointed out the Consortium’s president Nicola Bertinelli – and this success fuels our confidence in the battle for the defense of the authenticity of our product. We have been fighting for decades, first in Europe and now all over the world. If a multinational company like Campbell’s uses images of Parmigiano Reggiano on a product containing parmesan, this is clear proof that for Campbell’s consumers the name ‘parmesan’ is not a generic one, and is linked to Parmigiano Reggiano PDO.”