Gavin Webber, aka “the Cheeseman”, yesterday received a cease and desist letter from the Consortium for the Protection of Grana Padano Cheese, alleging it infringed on their protected designation of origin (PDO) of Grana Padano Cheese.

Who is Gavin Webber?

Gavin is a self-professed “Curd Nerd”, and addresses his followers as such. He is a successful YouTuber who films cheesemaking video tutorials. He has almost 250,000 subscribers on YouTube, and runs a website called Little Green Cheese. 

Gavin Webber started making cheese as a hobby in 2009 after attending a class at a local community house in his home state of Victoria, Australia. 

Since then, he has experimented with making cheese varieties from Italy, the UK, France and the US, among others. His repertoire includes feta, cheddar, Wensleydale, Emmental, stilton, camembert, Monterey Jack, Caerphilly and several others.

Grana Padano Protection Consortium cease and desist letter

Yesterday, Gavin Webber posted a slightly different video to his YouTube channel. Instead of talking his followers through how to make a specific type of cheese, he talked them through a cease and desist letter he had received from the Grana Padano Protection Consortium.

“Dear Mr Webber”, the letter begins. “Goodness me, this is a Perla”, Webber says in the video, before detailing the contents of the letter.

The correspondence itself contains references to trademark registrations, certification marks and protected designations of origin. 

What does it say?

The letter claims that Gavin Webber’s instructional video, in which he demonstrates how to make a cheese in the style of Grana Padano, “is a clear infringement of the Consorzio’s intellectual property rights”. 

“Indeed, your video seems to describe how to create counterfeited replicas of Grana Padano.”

Gavin provided a link to the original letter in the description of the video.

Does the Consortium have a case?

This remains to be seen. In his defence, Webber does make a point of highlighting the part of the video in question in which he says clearly that the cheese he makes is in the style of Grana Padano. 

Moreover, as one Reddit user pointed out: “the full documentation that they sent to get the PDO status is available online…. in a European Commission database. Said documentation includes a general method of obtaining the cheese.”

Several of Gavin’s YouTube followers have countered with witticisms in the comments section of the video. Their comments include:

I can finally say this: “Big Parma companies are trying to take us down”.

Cheese and desist.

just call your version of the cheese Gavino pedantico cheeso

Imagine being so good at making cheese, that you get targeted

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