Parmigiano vs Parmesan
The EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) the trade agreement for free trade between the EU and Japan provides for the protection of all ten Italian PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) cheeses such as Asiago, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Grana Padano, Mozzarella di Bufala bell, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Pecorino Toscano, Provolone Valpadana, Taleggio
There is however an exception that specifically concerns the Parmigiano Reggiano. The EU Commission has given the green light to the possibility of registering trademarks in the name of Parmesan in Japan. In fact, Europe recognizes that Parmesan is not an imitation of the Parmigiano Reggiano brand, and in both cases the agreement provides that the origin of the product must be clear on the label.
A joke for the Parmigiano Reggiano consortium that for years has been fighting against this brand, symbol of "Italian sounding " meaning counterfeited food .
Although exports to Japan are an important market for Italian cheeses, the clauses contained in the EPA open the way to other non-Italian products that exploit the similarity of the Italian brand.
Now the agreement signed by the Commission will have to be ratified by the European Parliament.