US consumers snap up Italian parmesan before tariffs

MILAN — U.S. consumers are stocking up Italian Parmesan cheese ahead of an increase in tariffs to take effect next week.

The agricultural lobby Coldiretti on Friday said sales of both Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano, aged cheeses defined by their territory of origin, have skyrocketed by 220% since the higher tariffs were announced one week ago.

The higher tariffs — up from $2.15 a kilogram to around $6 a kilogram — take effect on Oct. 18.

Coldiretti says American consumers as a result will pay $45 a kilogram, instead of $40 — which is expected to hurt sales in Italy’s Parmesan’s second-largest export market after France.

Nicola Bertinelli, president of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese consortium, says the tariffs threaten the economic health of 330 small producers in the area around Parma.

The Associated Press