Norway food producers spar over Greek yoghourt / News / The Foreigner

Norway food producers spar over Greek yoghourt. UPDATED: Company Synnøve Finden is threating to sue farmers’ dairy cooperative TINE for alleged labyrinthine marketing practices. Synnøve Finden started selling tubs of Greek yoghourt in 2013, according to TINE. Several million have been sold to date. TINE also states they began producing their Greek-style yoghourt the year before. Different strokes What has curdled the competitive conditions is that Synnøve Finden claim TINE is misleading the customer into thinking the goods are on an equal footing.

food, norwayshopping, consumers



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Norway food producers spar over Greek yoghourt

Published on Tuesday, 1st April, 2014 at 17:34 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 2nd April 2014 at 07:28.

UPDATED: Company Synnøve Finden is threating to sue farmers’ dairy cooperative TINE for alleged labyrinthine marketing practices.

A Greek yoghourt make
Relations between both companies are slightly curdledA Greek yoghourt make
Photo: Synnøve Finden


Synnøve Finden started selling tubs of Greek yoghourt in 2013, according to TINE. Several million have been sold to date. TINE also states they began producing their Greek-style yoghourt the year before.

Different strokes

What has curdled the competitive conditions is that Synnøve Finden claim TINE is misleading the customer into thinking the goods are on an equal footing.

TINE use two different terms, ‘Gresk Yoghurt’ (‘Greek Yoghurt’) and ‘Gresk Type’ (‘Greek-style’), and do not believe they have contravened current legislation.

“Yoghourt, which is produced by filtration in the traditional Greek way, is called ‘Gresk Yoghurt’. The filtration process gives the yoghourt a naturally-high protein level and thickness. ‘Gresk Yoghourt’ is made the Greek way, using Norwegian milk,” the company say in a statement.

“The products we call ‘Gresk Type’ are the yoghourts where we instead have added extra protein to make it thicker, as the ones Synnøve Finden make in Greece,” they explain.

“Not country-specific”

Synnøve Finden state their ‘Gresk Yoghurt’ product is produced in Greece with Greek ingredients, hence entitling it – not TINE’s – to Greek yoghourt
Greek yoghourt
TINE
be called Greek yoghourt in their view. Nobody at the company was available to discuss the issue, Tuesday.

So why don’t you call your yoghourt ‘Greek-style’ anyway to solve the issue, then?

“Our perception is that ‘Gresk Yoghurt’ is a similar designation like ‘Greek salad’ and ‘Italian pizza’ are, where geographical name is not perceived as a place of origin, but as a description of the item type,” TINE press spokesperson Veronika Skagestad
tells The Foreigner, confirming the matter is no April Fool’s joke.

Where is it produced?

“Our ‘Gresk Yoghurt’ is produced at TINE Meieriet (‘dairy’) in Tana (a municipality in northern Norway’s Finnmark County) where they have this filtration technology. ‘Gresk Type’ is produced at TINE Meieriet [in Trondheim] in Tunga.”

Improvements needed

TINE also remarks they will change the packaging if the consumer thinks things should be made clearer.

'No specific comment,' says Gunstein Instefjord
'No specific comment,' says Gunstein Instefjord
Kjell Håkon Larsen
At the same time, the Synnøve Finden-TINE issue is also no Greek tragedy but part of a wider issue, according to the Norwegian Consumer Council.

“We’ve no specific comments to make on this case,” Gunstein Instefjord, head of food and trade issues explains, “but a general problem is the lack of information as to where food comes from.”

The EU is currently looking at stricter labelling of food. This only applies to beef for now, but could be widened to include all types of fresh meat.

Subsequent stages might be rules on food ingredients, then milk and dairy products.

“We are certainly in favour of legislation obliging a denotation of where food comes from,” adds Mr Instefjord.

“The regulation for labelling food is quite clear, and it states that no labelling should be misleading. No consumer should ever be misled into buying a product which is something else than what it claims to be,” says senior Food Safety Advisor Margrethe Hovda Røed in an email to The Foreigner.

“How the where the product and how it is made should be clearly labelled. In other words, consumers must be made aware of what type of product they are purchasing. Misleading labelling of food is the focus one of our major control campaigns planned for 2014. We will also check Greek yoghurts during these,” she concludes.



Published on Tuesday, 1st April, 2014 at 17:34 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 2nd April 2014 at 07:28.

This post has the following tags: food, norwayshopping, consumers.





  
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