Dutch cheese: Edam Holland and Gouda Holland now protected in Europe

7 October 2010

Cheeses labelled ‘Gouda Holland’ or ‘Edam Holland’ are now guaranteed to be of Dutch origin after receiving Protected Geographical Indication status from the European Commission. This means these cheeses are made and ripened naturally in a traditional way in the Netherlands, using milk from Dutch cows. The European logo guarantees the origin and the high quality of the cheese.

Minister Verburg is proud of the European protection status: ‘The minister and the Dutch Dairy Association (NZO) have worked towards this for years. It’s good that consumers have clarity about the quality and origin of the protected designations “Gouda Holland” and “Edam Holland”. It also provides clarity to consumers abroad as well as export opportunities.’

The Netherlands exports millions of kilos of Gouda and Edam cheeses. The Protected Geographical Indications ‘Gouda Holland’ and ‘Edam Holland’ can only be used if the product fulfils the strict requirements drawn up by the NZO and manufacturers which have been approved by the European Commission.

‘Gouda’ and ‘Edam’ cheeses are, and can continue to be, made outside the Netherlands but these products cannot be called Gouda Holland or Edam Holland. The names Gouda Holland and Edam Holland were established in the early 1950s for cheeses with a particular composition and method of preparation. 

In 2009, the Netherlands produced 712 million kilos of cheese, 350 million kilos of which now fall under the protected name. Two-thirds of the cheese produced  is exported.