Fake Greek Products Overrun Foreign Markets

Fake Greek Products Overrun Foreign Markets

Fake-Greek-ProductsShady businessmen and companies produce thousands of fake Greek products in China, the UK and the US causing tremendous financial losses to Greek exporters and domestic economy, reported the Panhellenic Exporters Association Jan. 24, adding that “disturbing phenomena of malicious trademark registration of well-known Greek companies have been recorded lately in China, and more particularly in Hong Kong, cases of fraud at the expense of Greek exporters in the Balkan region, Africa and other EU Member States as well as the appropriation of traditional Greek brand names such as Feta and Greek Yogurt in the UK and the US.”

According to news agency Imerisia, the Association describes the three most common tricks of foreign unscrupulous business people played on Greek exporters as follows:

Greek Trademarks Registration

Cases of malicious trademark registrations are common in China and Hong Kong of both Greek and other international companies. Companies representing Chinese interests have been reported to register trademarks of Greek companies and sell their products as imported from Greece in the Chinese market, while the respective applications of Greek companies are still pending.

For example, a Hong Kong based company has recently applied for 145 trademark registrations with 20 of them belonging to Greek companies specializing in the fields of fur and jewellery. The Greek Office for Economic & Commercial Affairs in Shanghai and the General Consulate of Greece in Hong Kong have informed the Greek companies and called them to secure their trademarks rights before it is too late.

Greek Style Products

Gaps in the legal EU framework concerning POD (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) products have been used by companies in third countries, and in the US, in order to claim ownership of feta cheese and other Greek PDO products. A recent survey of the Panhellenic Exporters Association in the US showed that the biggest market shares of feta cheese and Greek yogurt in the country are owned by US based companies referring to Greece (Athenos, Chobani, Oikos, President). However, the products are neither produced in Greece nor from Greek raw material.

Similar cases have been recorded in EU countries too, while a giant UK retail sales company selling Greek Style Yogurt made of milk from the UK is enjoying the high demand observed lately in the Greek product at the expense of Greek export companies.

Shady Business Partners

According to the Panhellenic Exporters Association, another phenomenon has been observed lately in various Balkan and even Benelux countries, in which a business is set up for only a few days for the Greek products to be imported, and then it is dissolved before the Greek exporters receive any payment. Moreover, representatives of foreign companies are reported to have asked Greek exporters to pay for fees that are not covered by law in order to complete the export procedure.

  • Sifismanolakis

    Perhaps one ought to remind a lot of unscrupulous Greek grocers in America to review their practice of purchasing highly-questionable products in bulk from the Balkans and Turkey and relabeling them under a “house” brand as Greek.

    It’s a very common practice from San Francisco to NY

  • http://www.facebook.com/ange.kenos Ange T Kenos

    An excellent story which covers a concern that I have been pushing for over a year. First, the Chinese blatantly and openly steal copyrights on anything and everything without any shame and no country has the guts to DEMAND that China behave or be cut off like a pariah. Secondly, the number of fakes irritates me to the extreme. Seeing so called Feta that, if you taste it you will spew up/ vomit, yoghurt that tastes as much like Greek yogurt as does horse poo (well I have not tasted it but this is a metaphorical comparison)… The Hellenic nation MUST order every Proxeno, every Ambassador to speak up on these issues openly and publicly, to chastise any Greek MP or actor etc in the diaspora who openly supports any such fake products and to tell the world what truly is of our culture, our heritage.