The denomination “Greek yogurt” may only be applied to products that are produced in Greece,” a European Commission spokesman has told the news site EURACTIV.
The clarification comes amidst a row between Athens and Prague regarding whether products produced in the Czech Republic can be sold with the label Greek yogurt.
The dispute concerns a 2015 Czech Republic decree outlining requirements for milk and dairy products.
Athens argues that applying the terms “Greek yoghurt” and “Greek-style yogurt” for products produced in the Czech Republic is in contravention of EU regulations prohibiting the misleading of consumers, and that the use of the label in the Czech Republic constitutes unfair competition.
Last summer the European Commission warned Prague that producing a product labeled Greek yoghurt creates unfair competition, thus violating EU regulation.
Greece has been lodging complaints with the EU for over a year, but Prague has steadfastly refused to limit the production.
The global market for yogurt is over 50 billion euros.
Greek Agriculture Minister Evangelos Apostolou sent letters of complaint to the European Commissioners for agriculture and food safety, Phil Hogan and Vytenis Andriukaitis, respectively.
The agriculture ministry is fighting to block all other European countries from using the term Greek yogurt.
The Federation of Greek Dairy Industries also has written to the Commission seeking rectification of the situation.
The Commission is reviewing both letters and has been in contact with Czech authorities over the issue.
“The Commission is in contact with Czech authorities on this matter and expressed its position in a detailed opinion that was transmitted to Czech authorities,” the spokesman said.