Protected Designation Origin (PDO) refers to the name of a region that is used in the description of an agricultural or livestock product, produced in that region, when its quality or its characteristics are almost exclusively due to the geography. The policy for the protection of PDO products was officially adopted by the EU in 1992 with regulation 2081/92.

In order for a product to be named PDO it has to have the following characteristics:

  1. To originate from a specific area, region or country
  2. Its quality or its characteristics must be due to the special geographical parameters of this area, region or country
  3. The production and processing of this product must occur within the geographical boundaries of this area, region or country


Special specifications for Feta were included in Article 83 of the Food & Beverage Code in 1988. Feta became a Protected Designation of Origin product on a national level, in 1994 and on a EU level, in 1996. Other European countries, however, contested this decision for several years, although Greece had won the right to have Feta as a PDO product of Greece. The European Court of Justice reached a final decision on October 25th 2005, according to which it does justice to the European Commission for having entered Feta in the Community register of Greece.
According to current national and Community legislation, the name Feta is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and can only be used for the cheese that is produced with the traditional method in Greece, within the geographical boundaries of Continental Greece and the prefecture of Lesvos, either from sheep’s milk or from a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s (30%) milk from the same area.
This milk comes from sheep or goat tribes whose diet is based on the flora of the region’s pastures. Processing takes place within the production zone. The quality and features of Feta are due to the geography which includes both the natural and human resources of the production zone.

Description according to the Food & Beverage Code:
Table white cheese, preserved in brine, produced traditionally and exclusively from sheep’s milk or sheep’s milk mixed with goat’s milk. Goat’s milk should not exceed 30% in the mix. Maximum humidity 56% and minimum fat content 43% επί ξηρού.

Geographical region:
Epirus, Thessaly, Thrace, Macedonia, Peloponnese, Sterea Hellas and the Prefecture of Lesvos.

Production method:
After the milk has curdled, the curd is placed in moulds to be naturally strained (without pressure), during which time and after the curd has solidified, it is submitted to dry, superficial salting. At this stage, the desired microflora develops on the curd’s surface. Afterwards the curd is placed in wooden or metal receptacles and brine is added. The receptacles are initially moved to maturing chambers, where the temperature is up to 18 degrees C and relative humidity at least 85%, for up to 15 days. Maturing then continues in other chambers, where the temperature is 2-4 degrees C and relative humidity again 85%, until the completion of the maturing process, which is at least 2 months long.

PDO Kefalograviera

Description according to Food & Beverage Code:
A hard, table cheese, slightly salty with holes spread across its body, produced traditionally from sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk (the latter should not exceed 10% in weight). Its maximum humidity is 40% and its fat content is a minimum of 40% in dry matter (FDM)

Geographical Region:
Epirus, Western Macedonia, Prefectures of Aetolo-akarnania and Evrytania.

Production Method:
Milk is curdled at 32-34 degrees Celsius. Following this the curd is divided and then re-heated at approx. 48 degrees, with constant stirring. It is then transferred to moulds and placed under pressure. Then it’s moved to an area with a temperature of 14-16 degrees and relative humidity of 85%, for roughly one day. After this, it is placed in brine for 2 days.
Maturing takes place initially in chambers with a temperature of 14-16 degrees and relative humidity of 85-90%, while it is dry-salted, on the surface, roughly 10 times. When the salting is concluded the cheese is transferred to chamber with a temperature of under 6 degrees. The entire maturing process lasts at least three months.

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