Georgia clamps down on dairy definitions

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Georgian government in Tbilisi has introduced new rules on cheese and other dairy products. Pic:©iStock/ElenaMirage
The Georgian government in Tbilisi has introduced new rules on cheese and other dairy products. Pic:©iStock/ElenaMirage

Related tags: Dairy products, Powdered milk, Milk

Georgia’s National Food Agency (NFA) has introduced strict interpretations of how dairy products can be labeled.

From July 1, 2017, government decree No. 152 states the name "cheese" can only be used for products made from animal milk.  Further, cheese made from powdered milk cannot be labeled as cheese.

Butter is also subject to stricter rules, with the fat content having to fall between 39% and 79%.

Protecting producers and consumers

Head of the NFA, Zurab Chekurishvili said the changes were brought about partly by the use of powdered milk in cheese production, which he said was causing problems for cheese makers who could not compete with the cheaper products.

“The new regulation will contribute to the protection of consumer rights, as well as honest business promotion, the local market competitiveness and development of the livestock sector,"​ he added.

Businesses not complying with the new labeling rules face a 400 GEL ($166) fine, which increases to 1,200 GEL ($500) for repeat offences within the same year.

Rules in place since 2015

Technical regulations for dairy products came into force in August 2015.

The rules state milk products and other dairy products must be clearly labeled with all contents and any additives.

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