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Read about the latest updates on Australia-EU FTA/Geographical Indications.

 

Geographical Indications

As part of the Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA), common names for some of our favourite Australian dairy products could be forced to undergo a name change to satisfy EU demands.

Local products with estimated annual aggregate sales of over $650 million are at some commercial risk if dairy Geographical Indications (GIs) are built into any agreement.

In the following video David Inall, Australian Dairy Farmers CEO provides an update on GIs and how you can have your say during the consultation period.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bw6RH8AE_zE

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bw6RH8AE_zE

Have your say

The industry needs your voice heard in a three-month consultation period on GIs so the Australian Government can fully represent dairy in the FTA negotiations.

Speak to Australian Dairy Farmers, Australian Dairy Products Federation, Dairy Australia or your State Dairy Farmer Organisation to find out how they are engaging on your behalf.

Make a submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade by 13 November 2019.

Information and consultation sessions

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Agriculture will hold public information sessions across Australia on the objection process.  We encourage all dairy farmers, cheese makers and consumers interested in the FTA to attend an information session.

The following table highlights the events being held around Australia. 

For events hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, please register your attendance

For events hosted by the Department of Agriculture, please register your attendance.

For events hosted by UDV, please contact the UDV directly. 

 

DATE

LOCATION

TIME

LEAD AGENCY

Wednesday 28 Aug

Margaret River

9:30am

Department of Agriculture

Thursday 29 Aug

Perth

2:30pm to 4:00pm

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Wednesday 4 Sep

Gold Coast

2:00pm to 3:30pm

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Thursday 5 Sep

Darwin

10:00am to 11:30am

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Wednesday 11 Sep

Sydney

2:00pm to 3:30pm

Department of Agriculture

Friday 13 Sep

Adelaide

10:00am to 11:30am

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Monday 23 Sep

Hobart

9:30am

Department of Agriculture

Friday 27 Sept

Nowra

 

Department of Agriculture

Monday 30 Sep – Tuesday 1 Oct

Warrnambool and Cobden

 

United Dairyfarmers of Victoria

Monday 7 Oct – Tuesday 8 Oct

Tangambalanga and Kyabram

 

United Dairyfarmers of Victoria

Monday 21 Oct

Tinamba and Leongatha

 

United Dairyfarmers of Victoria

Thursday 24 Oct

Singleton

 

Department of Agriculture

Friday 25 Oct

Coffs Harbour

 

Department of Agriculture

 

What are Geographical Indications?

A Geographical Indication (GI) identifies a product as originating in a specific region
where a particular quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is attributable to that geographic origin.

This is best illustrated with examples from the wine industry, where champagne and burgundy are both now protected GIs. This means that Australian wine producers are not able to call wines by these names.

An agreement on GIs as part of an Australia–EU FTA could have two possible impacts:

  • Restricted use of common food names, including names of cheeses commonly produced in Australia.
  • Restricted use of packaging and labelling that are judged to evoke an image of a particular EU product in the mind of the consumer, e.g. flags, colours or images that evoke European nations.

The impact of a strict agreement on GIs will be keenly felt by farmers, processors and consumers. The Australian dairy industry seeks to ensure the ongoing use of common food names, particularly given Australia’s rich migration history.

What are the most at risk cheese names?

  • Feta
  • Parmesan
  • Grana Padano
  • Haloumi
  • Havarti
  • Pecorino
  • Romano
  • Neufchatel
  • Taleggio
  • Gruyere
  • Asiago
  • Greek yoghurt.

Key facts

The EU has listed more than 50 cheese names that they want to protect.

  1. Feta and parmesan are at highest risk with over 70 Australian brands of feta and 30 brands of Australian parmesan currently in market.
  2. The potential impact on Australian dairy manufacturers from lost sales and marketing by a strict enforcement of GIs could initially cost $70 to $90 million per year.
  3. It’s not just cheese names the EU wants to protect, it’s packaging, labels and colours that evoke European countries that are also under threat.
  4. A strict GIs regime could see dairy employment decline by up to 1,000 people.

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