The EU Protection Label for Döner Kebab


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Germany’s most consumed street food, the Turkish döner kebab, is vying for protection under the EU’s special designation label, joining the ranks of other European delicacies such as Neapolitan pizza and Spanish jamón serrano. The term “döner” originates from the Turkish word “dönmek,” meaning “turning,” reflecting the rotating cooking method used for the meat.

Application for Protection

Application for Protection

Türkiye is leading the application to register the name “döner” in Europe to ensure that only producers adhering to specific production methods and product criteria can use the term. If successful, the designation would dictate precise specifications for the meat, such as the thickness of beef, lamb, and chicken cuts, to be labeled as authentic “yaprak” (sliced) döner.

Industry Impact and Controversy

The döner market in Europe is valued at approximately €3.5 billion, with the Association of Turkish Döner Producers in Europe (ATDID) supporting the sector since 1996. While traditional specialties like döner are not covered by the EU’s Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) scheme, the move seeks to provide intellectual property protection for the iconic street food. The potential registration may spark debates, similar to past controversies like the clash over the use of the term “prošek” for Croatian dessert wine.

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