LAKE PLACID —
In a brief sweep by plane across the North Country on Friday, Schumer also visited cheesemaker McCadam Farms in Franklin County to relay his ongoing fight to defend and increase upstate cheese production.
“In recent trade negotiations, the European Union has been trying to claim cheese names based on geographic locations, in the same way that the EU has argued that champagne can only be sold as ‘champagne’ if produced in the Champagne region of France,” Schumer said in a news release.
“Among the labels sought by EU are: muenster, feta, parmesan, fontina, gorgonzola and others,” the senator explained.
“If the EU succeeds in claiming those names, New York producers will no longer be able to export cheeses with their current names. They would have to export the cheese under a different name — which would significantly devalue the product — or forego the sales entirely.”
Schumer said the EU is negotiating with many Latin American and Asian nations, “and any agreement on labeling could prevent U.S. exporters from selling to those countries using the ‘trademarked’ names.”
He also announced his support for a Cornell University grant to help dairy farmers learn how to make cheese.
“The grant would allow small dairy farmers in the region to receive training from Cornell experts on cheese production and aging, with the intent of selling that product at Wegman’s franchise supermarkets ... based in the Finger Lakes region,” Schumer said.
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