Belgian chocolate industry moves to protect their pralines

Mar 29, 2013, 01:37 IST | Agencies

Belgium's chocolatiers are planning to seek European Union protection for their pralines, demanding that their produce is given the same status as French Champagne or Italian Parma ham.

Belgium is famous for its chocolate, and the reputation is attracting copycats who use the word ‘Belgian’ for lower quality products.

So concerned are the country’s chocolatiers that they want the EU to take action protecting the term ‘Belgian chocolate’ in order to stop foreign rivals branding their confections as ‘Belgian style’.

Jos Linkens, the chief executive of Neuhaus, the company that invented the hard-shelled, cream-filled chocolate, the praline, in 1912 and the Belgian industry’s spokesman, wants the same EU protection given to famous cheeses, such Stilton.

“What makes us sad is that very often the copies are not up to the standard of the originals,” he said. “Why does camembert need to be made in Normandy, champagne in the region of Champagne? In all gastronomic products, the origin has some importance. It’s about being honest and straightforward.  

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