Mozzarella from Texas, and Pecorino from Wisconsin the sale of fake Italian food products is now worth around 52.6 billion worldwide.

This is according to the Confederazione Agricoltori (the Italian farming confederation), which is now lobbying the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to stamp out this pirate trade. A 5 July protest outside the FAO headquarters in Rome saw Italian farmers hand out free samples of genuine Parmeggiano Reggiano ahead of a committee meeting on international food trade standards. Italys farm confederation says that sales of parmesan to France, Germany and Spain have risen by seven per cent over the past year but that exports to the US have fallen partly due to the massive market in fake Italian cheeses, now worth $2 billion per year. Joining the campaign, Italian agriculture minister, Gianni Alemanno, said: Safeguarding farm produce and protecting the consumer are two key priorities, so we must fight the illegal appropriation of protected denominations of origin.

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