Official Journal of the European Union

C 29/14

Publication of an application pursuant to Article 6(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs

2012/C 29/11

This publication confers the right to object to the application pursuant to Article 7 of Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 (1). Statements of objection must reach the Commission within six months from the date of this publication.




EC No: DK-PGI-0005-0830-05.10.2010

PGI ( X ) PDO ( )

1.   Name:


2.   Member State or third country:


3.   Description of the agricultural product or foodstuff:

3.1.   Type of product:

Class 1.3 —


3.2.   Description of product to which the name in point 1 applies:

Matured, firm cheese made from milk of bovine origin. Milk and milk products from other animals are not permitted.

Water content: Depends on the content of fat in dry matter, see table below:

fat in dry matter:

maximum water content,

from 30 % to < 45 %:

56 %,

from 45 % to < 50 %:

50 %.

The fat in dry matter is expressed as 30 + or 45 +. In Danbo cheeses containing 30 % to < 45 % fat in dry matter, the fat content must be indicated as part of the name. A content of 45 % fat in dry matter is taken as the reference for comparative nutrition claims about fat content.

The other characteristic properties are as follows:



Firm rind with a smear. The surface may be coated.



Colour: Whitish (or ivory-coloured) to light yellow.

Texture: Although soft and supple in consistency, it is still easy to cut.

Structure: A few to a large number of equally distributed, evenly round, pea-sized eyes, mostly up to 10 mm in diameter, possibly with a few slit-shaped apertures. If flavourings are used, there will generally be far fewer, irregularly shaped eyes.

Smell and taste: Mild, slightly acidic, aromatic and characteristic taste due to the smear-ripening. As the age increases, the smell and taste become more pronounced.



Flat and square or rectangular.



Danbo’s characteristic taste and texture are achieved after ripening for 3-4 weeks at 12-20 °C. Danbo may be sent by the producer for further treatment, including ripening, or for storage to another company before that age, but it may not be released by the second company before the cheese has attained the minimum age.



Cumin may be added provided that the smell and taste of the cheese are characterised by the additives and that the essential flavouring is included in the name or indicated in relation to it.

3.3.   Raw materials (for processed products only):

3.4.   Feed (for products of animal origin only):

3.5.   Specific steps in production that must take place in the identified geographical area:

Danbo must be produced and ripened by cheese maturers in Denmark. In particular, the production method includes two stages that differ from conventional dairy technology. The first stage is the treatment of the curds from cutting until stirring is completed. The second is the growth of Brevibacterium linens (smear-ripening) on the surface of the cheese after salting. The stages are described below:


Treatment of the curds after cutting:

After cutting, large quantities of water are added and scalding is completed at a relatively low temperature. By carefully controlling these two parameters, it is possible to produce cheese with both a relatively high minimum pH and an appropriately high water content, providing the characteristic consistency.


Cultivation of Brevibacterium linens:

The relatively high minimum pH promotes the growth of Brevibacterium linens, which is also greatly assisted by the fact that the cheese is stored for the first 7-10 days at 18-20 °C and a relative humidity close to the dew point. The cheese is then transferred to a colder, drier store. Typically, the smear-ripening process is concluded by softening and washing of the smear layer, slowing down surface ripening.

3.6.   Specific rules concerning slicing, grating, packaging, etc.:

3.7.   Specific rules concerning labelling:

4.   Concise definition of the geographical area:


5.   Link with the geographical area:

5.1.   Specificity of the geographical area:

Denmark has a very long and proud tradition of producing dairy products. The production of Danbo has been an integral part of the curriculum at Danish dairy schools for over 100 years. Danish dairy experts have accordingly been trained to acquire the essential know-how for the production of this Danish cheese speciality.


In 1889, Rasmus Nielsen became managing director of Kirkeby dairy on Funen. He was an industrious dairyman, which is clear inter alia from the fact that the dairy was approved as a training establishment for dairymen in receipt of a State grant. In 1896, he was awarded a grant by the Danish Government to study cheese production abroad. The following winter he took lessons in German and in spring 1897 he travelled to eastern Prussia along the border with Russia. The land there was a steppe with extensive grasslands. The dairies there were well known as good makers of cheese.

To facilitate the introduction to his period of study in dairies, he was given a letter of recommendation by Professor Bøggild of the Royal Danish Veterinary and Agricultural University. He was therefore well received on the many small dairies which were to be found in eastern Prussia. His task was to track down documents and find out about the techniques used in making the fine cheese specialities which were produced in eastern Prussia at that time. After eastern Prussia, Rasmus Nielsen went to Holland where he worked in cheese production in a number of different dairies.

He returned home to Kirkeby dairy in autumn 1897 having gained a wealth of new knowledge and experience. Back at home, he started trying out everything he had learnt straightaway.

From the start, he was quite sure that he did not want to imitate a single one of the cheeses he had seen, but rather to amass all of his experience in order to make a very special cheese. A completely new cheese. The special feature of the new cheese which Rasmus Nielsen produced was that it was a square, ‘opstukken’ cheese with a very special smear surface-ripening. At that time, it was a complete novelty for an ‘opstukken’ cheese to be square. Smear-ripening was also special in that a solution containing bacterial and yeast cultures was rubbed into the cheese rind.

Sales of the new cheese were brisk and gradually many different dairies started making this type of cheese. Before the Second World War, cheese in Denmark was produced mainly for the domestic market. After the war and especially in the 1950s, cheese production started to increase and the rise in exports meant that Denmark had to position itself on export markets with typical Danish cheese names so as to be able to showcase Danish cheeses when marketing them alongside other well-known Danish agricultural products. This cheese was given the honorific name Danbo. This is one of the reasons why Danbo was included in the Stresa Convention and later in the Codex Alimentarius.

5.2.   Specificity of the product:

Danbo is one of the most typical Danish cheeses and for dairy producers it is the typical ‘opstukken’ type of cheese. Danbo has its own highly distinctive taste. It is mild, slightly acidic, aromatic and characterised by smear-ripening. Danbo’s high water content, compared to other, similar cheeses, also lends it a softness and suppleness not found in other cheeses, while remaining easy to cut.

5.3.   Causal link between the geographical area and the quality or characteristics of the product (for PDO) or a specific quality, the reputation or other characteristic of the product (for PGI):

The protection of Danbo as a geographical indication is based on its characteristic production method and reputation.

Method of production:

For the production of Danbo, a very special smear-ripening process is used known as ‘the Danish method’ whereby a smear is applied to the cheese so that its surface ripens from both the outside and the inside. This smear-ripening process is crucial for the cheese's highly distinctive taste, a taste that Danes have embraced but does not appeal to other European palates. A particular feature of the production of Danbo is the addition of large quantities of water. The characteristic consistency of the cheese is due in part to this. Training in how to make Danbo has been and still is a completely normal part of dairy training in Denmark and references on how to make Danbo can therefore still be found in a large number of training manuals. For more than 100 years Danish dairymen, dairy technicians, dairy technologists and dairy engineers have been trained in how to make Danbo. Given the long-established traditions which are passed on by training and the special method of production and ripening used in Denmark, Danbo must be produced and ripened by cheese maturers in Denmark.


In 1952, 10 typical Danish cheeses, including Danbo, were given Danish names under the Stresa Convention and Ministry of Agriculture Order No 80 of 13 March 1952. The cheese names and the corresponding descriptions still apply today in accordance with Order No 335 of 10 May 2004 on dairy products, etc.

The term ‘Danbo’ is a combination of the two names ‘Dan’ and ‘Bo’. Dan is the Nordic derivative of the popular name ‘Danerne’ (‘the Danes’) while Bo means ‘the resident’. The name ‘Danbo’ is therefore the historical term for one who is resident in Denmark, and was given to this cheese because all Danes consider it to be the most characteristic Danish cheese of all.

Danbo is recognised as a speciality of Danish origin. According to a recent consumer survey, the majority of Danish consumers know and associate Danbo with Denmark. Since the production and consumption of Danbo are concentrated in Denmark, Danbo is best known among Danish consumers. The survey revealed that there are on the whole very few non-Danes who are familiar with Danbo.

The special nature of the cheese, notably its highly characteristic taste and particular consistency, makes Danbo a cheese like no other. Danbo is the cheese most commonly eaten in Denmark. Because of its particular character, it is eaten almost exclusively by Danes.

With production exceeding 40 000 tonnes, Danbo today accounts for about 13 % of all cheese production in Denmark. The production and consumption of Danbo are concentrated in Denmark and Danbo is today considered to be Denmark’s national cheese.

Danbo cheese has taken part in exhibitions and competitions both nationally and internationally and won a large number of awards. Danbo has been a permanent feature at national exhibitions for over 100 years, the most recent being the National Dairy Exhibition and regional exhibitions in 2009. There have been and still are countless advertising campaigns specifically aimed at Danbo, which is a unique cheese that meets most consumers’ requirements for a good cheese that is particularly suitable for being sliced. Many international reference works on cheese refer to the cheese’s Danish origin. Danbo also appears in a large number of Danish recipes.

Reference to publication of the specification:

(Article 5(7) of Regulation (EC) No 510/2006)


(1)  OJ L 93, 31.3.2006, p. 12.