A PROPOSED free trade agreement between Australia and the European Union is demanding Australia stop using common product cheese names such as feta, mozzarella and parmesan.
The demand has angered peak groups, the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV) and Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) who estimate the decision will impact Australian dairy products with an aggregate sales value of more than $650 million.
Cheese manufacturers could end up paying a staggering $70–90 million per year in the early stages of the planned trade deal to rebrand and repackage products, as well as engage in consumer re-education.
Supported by Dairy Australia, the UDV and ADF will lead a series of events across Victoria informing farmers on the impact the ban will have on business.
UDV President Paul Mumford said he is cheesed off that the EU is demanding Australia stop using common product names.
“We are urging farmers, manufacturers and even consumers to stay informed and learn how they can help us convince the Federal Government that GIs will be another kick in the guts for the dairy industry,” Mr Mumford said.
ADF President Terry Richardson said the industry remained anxious dairy would be a major loser out of any trade deal between Australia and the EU.
“This agreement must have benefits for both sides, considering the ease of access European dairy manufacturers have to the Australian market,” Mr Richardson said.
“An opportunity exists to remove trade barriers that are currently stifling dairy trade between Australia and the EU, but this deal should free up the trade relationship rather than creates technical barriers such as GIs,” Mr Richardson said.
Events will be held at:
Tinamba | Tinamba Community Hall, Monday, October 21, 11.00 am
Leongatha | Leongatha RSL, Monday, October 21, 7.30 pm