Posted: 11/10/2021

Shepherds Purse to rename Yorkshire Fettle again after PDO breach

Shepherds Purse co-owners Katie Matten and Caroline Bell will have to rename their sheep’s milk cheese
Picture: Dave Charnley Photography.

Shepherds Purse will have to rename its Yorkshire Fettle cheese for the second time following demands from Greek cheesemakers, who argue its name breaches the PDO for Feta.

First made in 1987 as Yorkshire Feta, the crumbly, sheep’s milk cheese was renamed Yorkshire Fettle in 2008 when Feta won PDO status. 

However, the Federation of Greek Dairy Products Industries believes Fettle is still too similar to the name Feta and has demanded that Shepherds Purse stop using it. 

The Yorkshire cheesemaker disagrees, but does not have the resources for a legal fight, so will, once again, rename the product. A new name had not yet been chosen as FFD went to press.

“It’s devastating to see our well-loved product go through this process once more after we believed it was resolved back in 2008,” said co-owner Caroline Bell.

“While we agree whole heartedly with the spirit of PDO legislation, we don’t believe that our name breaches it. But we sit as a fringe case and sadly, as a small independent family business, our resources to fight it are limited, particularly after this exceptionally difficult period due to the pandemic.”

Bell’s sister and co-owner Katie Matten said the enforced change was “a blow” after investing heavily in new equipment and new packaging during the pandemic to help support sheep milk farmers. 

“It’s an exceptional product made from quality British sheep’s milk and we have over 30 years’ experience in making it,” she said. “We will move forward positively despite this recent challenge.”

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