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Gouda and Edam cheeses gain protected EU status

Added to Dutch product names

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

BRUSSELS - Dutch Gouda and Dutch Edam cheese will receive their protected status under EU rules on local products, a European Commission official confirmed.

The decision ends a seven-year campaign by the Dutch dairy board to win protection for the two products which are popular in many countries. Producers in other countries such as Germany had argued against giving protected status to the Dutch cheese. Gouda and Edam-style products are also made in Canada, the U.S.A. and other countries. The cheeses are made by factories as well as cottage industry cheeses on farms of Dutch immigrants and their families.

Foreign producers will still be allowed to produce cheese billed as Edam and Gouda but only cheese made in the Netherlands may be advertised and labeled as 'Edam Holland' and 'Gouda Holland'. A formal announcement of the status decision is expected any day.

In 2007 jenever, or Dutch gin, became the sixth Dutch product to be granted EU status. Jenever joined the Opperdoezer Ronde (a potato from the West-Friesian region of Opperdoes in North Holland) and four cheeses (Boeren Leidse, Kanter, Noord-Hollandse Edammer and Noord-Hollandse Gouda).

The market value of Edam and Gouda - producers of about half of the 730,000 tons of cheese produced in the Netherlands - is estimated at 1.3 billion euros.