Cheese names to be costly

Gatton Star - - INTO RURAL -

THE Aus­tralian Dairy In­dus­try Coun­cil has urged the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment not to cave in to pres­sure from the Euro­pean Union over “ge­o­graphic in­di­ca­tors” – a key stick­ing point in trade ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Un­der ge­o­graphic in­di­ca­tor la­belling rules, Aus­tralia would be pre­vented from us­ing terms such as feta, parme­san and haloumi.

The GI rules state food or bev­er­ages bear­ing the name of a re­gion where it orig­i­nated will not be able to use that la­bel if it is pro­duced out­side the re­gion.

The ADIC said ban­ning the use of cheese la­bels would cost the Aus­tralian dairy in­dus­try about

$180 mil­lion in sales and $55 mil­lion in ex­ports.

ADIC chair­man Terry Richard­son said man­u­fac­tur­ers would be forced to change the names of lo­cally pro­duced cheeses – a “night­mare sce­nario”.

“A quick look in any su­per­mar­ket cheese sec­tion will show you that many Aus­tralian dairy man­u­fac­tur­ers have built their brands on their cul­tural her­itage, and now face the pos­si­bil­ity of hav­ing that taken from them,” Mr Richard­son said.

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