Dutch cheese maker kicks up a stink over fake Old Amsterdam
The Dutch manufacturer of Old Amsterdam Cheese said Friday it is considering legal action over imitations of its popular cheese sold in the Netherlands.22 February 2008
AMSTERDAM - The Dutch manufacturer of Old Amsterdam Cheese said Friday it is considering legal action over imitations of its popular cheese sold in the Netherlands.
Old Amsterdam undergoes a new kind of ripening process whereby the cheese is kept under varying temperatures over a prolonged period of time and its special taste and texture have made it very popular over the last fifteen years.
Cor Lustig, spokesman for the Westland Kaas Groep that makes the cheese, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that yearly turnover amounts to "several tens of millions of euros."
Lustig said that most of the fake Old Amsterdam cheese is being sold at Dutch open-air markets, not supermarkets.
Westland recently confiscated dozens of fake cheeses at open air markets in several cities, including The Hague, as well as in a storage hall. The cheese manufacturer is considering legal action.
The imitation cheese has the same black crust and is wrapped in almost identical packaging to the original, but the cheese is completely different and reportedly of lower quality.
Lustig said the fake Old Amsterdam cheese "most likely" comes from a Dutch cheese manufacturer.
Asked whether Westland suspects fake cheeses are also being sold abroad, Lustig replied "we are quite certain this is not the case. Most of our cheeses for the foreign market are distributed to supermarkets, who purchase it directly from us."
Old Amsterdam cheese is sold in the Netherlands and abroad, particularly in Germany, Belgium, Spain and recently also in the US.
[Copyright dpa 2008]
Subject: Dutch news