Surrendering to a European Union (EU) seizure of common food names would cost the U.S. dairy industry billions of dollars, slash domestic cheese consumption and increase prices for consumers, according to an analysis released today by Informa Economics IEG.
The European farm policy agenda, which is focused on using geographical indications (GIs) to unfairly grant European food producers a huge commercial advantage, would force farmers and food producers outside of Europe to rebrand familiar foods with unfamiliar names. The resulting confusion in the U.S. domestic marketplace could shutter family farms, eliminate thousands of rural jobs and hurt the overall U.S. economy, the analysis said. The European Union advocates extending GI protections beyond a small number of specialty foods to cover many food names that have little to no geographic identity and have long been commonly used by food producers around the world. At today’s prices, the decline in U.S. cheese consumption due to the loss of common food names could amount to $2.3 billion in lost sales in three years, and $5.2 billion in 10 years.
The 60-page analysis was commissioned by the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), an international alliance of companies and organizations dedicated to preserving the right to use common food terms.
You can listen to a complete recording of the announcement detailing the above with a Q&A here: Economic Analysis On Impact of EU Geographical Indications