Protected Specialties

formaggi dop ant

The names of many types of Italian cheese, like those of other food products, derive from their place of origin. To prevent the fame of these products from being incorrectly exploited either in the towns they originate in, or abroad, specific titles have been granted to protect these names.
The aim is to avoid that Italian cheese names are used undeservedly, for different specialties, or for those which come from areas that are not traditionally associated with the product.
To obtain official registration as a DOP, it is necessary for Italian cheese producers to send their request to the European Commission, through the Ministry of Agriculture, to demonstrate the product’s unique qualities, as well as its links to the territory it comes from.
Today, there is a large number of food names registered in Europe: cheese and dairy products alone account for 160, 32 of which are Italian.
Each of them can fall into one of four quality certifications for organic products: Denominazioni di Origine Protetta (DOP), Indicazioni Geografiche Protette (IGP), and Specialità Tradizionali Garantite (STG).