The producers of Spain’s renowned manchego cheese have accused their Mexican counterparts of “crude plagiarism” in a row that is holding back a new trade deal between the EU and Mexico.
“We have to defend our manchego tooth and nail,” says Francisco Tejado, walking through the factory of Spain’s biggest cheese producer, Garcia Baquero, located in the arid plains of La Mancha, the region famed for the cheese.
Manchego is an EU protected designation of origin (AOC) product, which is respected within the bloc but not always further afield.
And in Mexico, in particular, manufacturers have used the names of several “European cheeses, including manchego, to reap profit from crude plagiarism”, complains Santiago Altares, head of the group that gives out AOC labels to manchego producers.
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