Dutch Gouda and Edammer cheese are to be given protected status under EU rules on local products, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Tuesday, quoting a European Commission official.
The decision ends a seven-year campaign by the Dutch dairy board to win protection for the two classic products. Producers in other countries such as Germany had argued against giving protected status to the Dutch cheese. Gouda and Edam-style products are even made in the US.
According to the FD, foreign producers will still be allowed to produce cheese described as Edam and Gouda but only cheese made in the Netherlands will be known as ‘Edam Holland’ and ‘Gouda Holland’.
The formal decision is expected later this month.
In 2007 jenever, or Dutch gin, became the sixth Dutch product to be given EU status. Jenever joined the Opperdoezer Ronde (a potato from the West-Friesian region Opperdoes) and four cheeses (Boeren Leidse, Kanter, Noord-Hollandse Edammer and Noord-Hollandse Gouda).
Gouda and Edam account for some 50% of the 700 tonnes of cheese produced in the Netherlands each year. The market for the two sorts is put at €1.3bn.