The fake of Catalan buffalo mozzarella has been recognized
Complaint for Spanish brewery arrives
Success for the international protection action of the consortium and ministry
The Spanish authorities have denounced the dairy producing "Bufala de L'Empordà", sold in Barcelona and Catalonia as "100% buffalo milk mozzarella", for fraud against public health, food fraud and misleading advertising, but actually made with percentages of cow's milk between 9.35% and 22.10%. The action taken by the central quality and fraud repression inspectorate of the Ministry of Agricultural Policies (Icqrf) ends with a success for Italy, following the complaint made by the consortium for the protection of buffalo mozzarella from Campania Dop in October 2018 on irregularities of the Spanish mozzarella, which fraudulently eroded market shares for the buffalo from Campania.
The turning point came from the new tests carried out by the Spanish laboratory Merieux Nutrisciences - Silliker Iberica, which had once again certified the presence of cow's milk in further samples of Iberian product subjected to checks. In recent days there was also the intervention of the Spanish authorities, in particular of the investigators of the Seprona (Servicio de Protección de la Naturaleza), which led to the denunciation of the dairy of Palau-Saverdera, a Catalan municipality in province of Girona.
The Consortium, as part of the monitoring of foreign markets, already in the summer of 2018 carried out the first tests on the Catalan product, detecting the presence of cow's milk. The analyzes in Italy were carried out first by a private laboratory and then by the Istituto Zooprofilattico of Mezzogiorno based in Portici, which confirmed the anomaly. To counter the presence of Catalan product, a communication was sent to the ministry with a request for operational intervention through the ICQRF, with the aim of blocking unfair competitive practice. The Ministry of Agricultural Policies got underway, reporting the case on the European Food Fraud Network platform to alert the Spanish authorities to protect Iberian consumers and the good name of the authentic “buffalo mozzarella”. The last act of the affair saw Spain confirm the existence of the reported irregularity and contest the offense.
"This story represents an exemplary case of both the virtuous collaboration between the ministry and consortia and the international alliance put in place to protect the excellence of Made in Italy, such as buffalo mozzarella from Campania Dop", comments Oreste Gerini, general manager for the promotion of agri-food quality and horse racing of the Ministry of Agricultural Policies. Finally, the president of the Consortium, Domenico Raimondo, underlines: "The Italian control system is confirmed as one of the best in the world, we are an example in Europe and we are proud to have helped to curb fraud for consumers and unfair competition against us. We remain at the forefront of defending the quality and originality of our product".
EFA News - European Food Agency