Author Topic: New Free-Trade Agreement (CETA): How it Will Change Cheese Industry In Canada  (Read 188 times)

Offline Spoons

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The Canadian Government and the European Union have tabled and agreed upon a free-trade agreement recently. Interestingly, there will be changes in the cheese industry in Canada. IMO, this will promote European cheeses in Canada, which is good for Canadian consummers, but will not give any benefits to Canadian cheese makers. Here's an excerpt from a Law Blog (Not Bob Loblaw's Law Blog btw...) :

Quote
First, while the emphasis on cheese and the dairy industry has focused on increasing the amount of European cheese that can be sold in Canada, the agreement also contains some notable new restrictions on the sale and marketing of cheese in Canada more generally.  Under the umbrella of geographic indications protections, Canada has agreed to new limitations on several well known cheeses including asiago, feta, fontina, gorgonzola, and munster. Existing Canadian producers can continue to use these names, but that's it - any future cheese makers will need to qualify the title by using words such as "imitation" or "style". This is a significant concession that effectively gives rights to existing producers on what many consumers would view as generic names.

Source: http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6985/125/#comments

I guess we'll probably see more European cheeses at the supermarket (and possibly cheaper due to increased importation), and I'm fine with that, but future Canadian Cheese Makers will need to come up with some original cheese names or use the "... Style" suffix with their cheese. This kind of cheapens ones reputation IMO. You see such a label and it doesn't sound as good as the "authentic" stuff, makes it sound like a cheap knockoff.

I know it's nothing new. We see this everywhere (Saint-Paulin vs Port Salut; Cognac vs Brandy; Champagne vs Sparkling wine), but we'll just get to see it more and more in Canada.
- Eric


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Offline jwalker

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Yep , it may be good for consumers of some fine European cheeses , as prices will hopefully come down some.

But on the whole , it's a bad deal for Canadian cheese producers , artisan and commercial alike , I don't see why we aren't encouraging more small cheesemakers in this country.

And it's very good for pork and beef producers.

Basically , Harper is forfeiting cheese tariffs so the E.U. will allow us to export more meat into their country ,  the sad thing is , on the cheese front , the E.U. already exports about 1000 times as much cheese to Canada as Canada sends to the E.U.

On top of that , our laws governing artisan cheese makers are much more rigorous here in Canada , making it even harder to compete in an already unfair trade situation.

As for labeling laws , only the town of Gouda and surrounding area can legally call their cheese "Gouda" , still , I don't see the need to call a copy of it "Gouda-style" , how about something like "Canadian Gouda" , that would remove any doubt as to where it was made , and would also convey the style of cheese.

I guess the lawyers will figure that one out.

I guess we'll see what happens , but it will hurt Canadian cheese at least temporarily , if and when it goes into effect.
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.