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20/09/2017
Prosciutto di Parma with its own name in Canada

The EU - Canada Trade Agreement comes into force.

Prosciutto di Parma will reach the tables of Canadian consumers bearing its own name. This is the major outcome achieved for the king of Cured Hams following the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement - CETA - between the European Union and Canada that will come into force tomorrow.

More specifically, the denomination "Prosciutto di Parma" will co-exist with the "Parma" trademark currently held by the Canadian company Maple Leaf.

It is a historic achievement when one considers that before this agreement in Canada, as in other Anglo-Saxon countries, there was no system of protection for products with geographical indication, as protection was rather reserved for the trademark’s owner who had registered it first. But today CETA introduces, among other things, a framework of reference for Geographical Indications, which are now afforded special status and protection on the Canadian market.

 

We find this a very positive outcome as we believe it will bring many benefits to our product - declared Stefano Fanti, director of the Consortium of Prosciutto di Parma - starting with recognition on the market by our consumers. Producers will finally be able to sell our cured ham in Canada with the correct denomination of "Prosciutto di Parma". 

Our Consortium has been taking legal action for a long time in Canada in order to obtain the cancellation of the competing trademark, in our opinion a deceptive one, without unfortunately ever succeeding in doing so.  Today we have achieved a compromise that, however, guarantees legal protection to our product, an essential prerequisite for building up a market.

 

Before the agreement, Prosciutto di Parma was already being sold in Canada, but for over 20 years it has been retailed under the names "The Original Prosciutto" and "Le Jambon Original," because the trademark "Parma" had been acquired by the Canadian company Maple Leaf, which sells, among other things, its dry cured ham using this denomination.

 

For years we experienced a situation that damaged the value of our brand and of Prosciutto di Parma, generating no small amount of confusion in uninformed consumers - Fanti pointed out.

Now that we can legitimately use our name, we will work to consolidate our presence in this market and to develop exports, currently at 70,000 dry cured hams a year. Our strategy will pursue the road of quality and of promotion of those intrinsic characteristics of our product which distinguish it from all other dry cured hams.

We wish therefore to thank the Italian Government, the European Commission and the Italian Members of Parliament in Brussels for the strong and long-term support they have given us throughout these years, leading to this important result.