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France - Importing European cheese with ease

Selling imported European cheeses directly to final customers without intermediaries.

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  • Mexico
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  • Exporters' stories
EU exporter
  • France

Sabor y Carácter ("taste and character" in English) is a small business founded by French entrepreneur Olivier Bert in Mexico in 2009.

Based in Mexico City, the company imports and distributes European cheese to its customers throughout the capital. It reaches other parts of Mexico as well through events and local markets.

Most of the company's cheeses are identified as Geographical Indications (GIs), meaning they are distinctive foods from specific regions in the EU. These include French Mimolette and Comté, Spanish Manchego, and Italian Pecorino Romano.

Sabor y Carácter sells its imported European cheeses directly to its final customers without intermediaries. This allows it to meet its clients directly, at small marketplaces all around Mexico and in its store in Mexico City, promoting European cheese culture.

The interest in and demand for European products on the Mexican market has contributed to the company's success. Since 2015 the business has grown by 20 percent each year. In 2017, it sold over four tons of cheese.

How the EU-Mexico trade agreement will help

The trade agreement will end Mexican customs duties on cheese from the EU, which are currently as high as 45%. The agreement will also facilitate a faster approval process for the cheeses of the different Member States, and without delays associated to inspections of individual producers.

This will in time allow Sabor y Caracter to offer its Mexican customers a wider choice of the EU rich dairy tradition.

The agreement will also protect 340 distinctive foods and wines from specific EU regions from imitations, including many cheeses. This will give these products a similar level of protection as in the EU, enabling Sabor y Carácter to guarantee the origin of its products.

The new EU-Mexico trade agreement will bring our business two major benefits. First, it will scrap Mexican customs tariffs on cheese from the EU. Second, it will protect distinctive European cheeses from imitations. This will allow us to compete more effectively, and to give our customers full confidence in the origin of our products.

Olivier Bert,
Co-founder, Sabor y Carácter