CAP decision to ‘enhance protection of EU dairy terms’ welcomed

The European Parliament’s vote on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and decision to “enhance the protection of EU dairy terms” has been welcomed by the Irish Cooperative Organisation Society (ICOS).

ICOS president Jerry Long lauded the adoption by the European Parliament of its CAP position this afternoon (Friday, October 23), following a week of voting and close to three years of discussions.

“This week has marked an important milestone in the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy with positions now adopted by both the European Parliament and the Council. We now enter the final stage of negotiations,” Long said.

Both positions call for an unprecedented level of environmental ambition

This, he said, will “undoubtedly present a new challenge” to farmers, but which at the same time, he hopes, will provide a “new framework to produce the same high quality food while meeting our environmental and climate objectives”.

“While not being perfect, there are many elements of the parliament’s position, adopted today, which we welcome,” the president said.

Particularly the proposal to introduce new protections on the use of dairy terms and prevent their misuse in the marketing of non-dairy products.

“It has previously been established though a European Court of Justice decision in 2017 that traditional dairy terms including ‘milk’, ‘butter’, ‘cream’, ‘cheese’ and ‘yogurt’ could not be used to market products which are not produced from animal milk.

“A vote today in the European Parliament called for this protection to be solidified and enhanced to further exclude the imitation or evocation of these terms through the use of expression such as ‘style’, ‘type’, ‘flavour’ or ‘substitute’.

The use of traditional dairy terms for non-dairy products is leading to consumer confusion.

“Dairy products and those of plant origin have entirely different nutritional content and production methods; we must avoid the belief in the interchangeability of these product, which will be assisted through the use of different terms.

“The clarity being sought by MEPs with today’s vote is a welcome move towards ensuring consumer understanding and confidence in future,” Long concluded.