Cheese names to be costly
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.