Australian Agriculture to Lose Big Time if EU Demands for Food Names Protection Win Over

The ongoing tussle between UK and EU, has far reaching effects. Their trade disintegration may affect other national economies in the world. Australian Agriculture may face more loss in its already dwindling business. Europe has released demands to put a stop to some of the age-old nomenclature of local food produced, which could be detrimental for the agricultural economy of Australia.

The European Union has given a list of 172 foods and 236 spirits they want protected under a free trade agreement with Australia. The list includes cheeses feta, gruyere and gorgonzola, along with spirits including grappa and ouzo. Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham released the list which has met with a tensed response from the Farming Community of the country.

National Farmers’ Federation chief executive Tony Mahar is concerned about the starting point of the negotiations on food names, with feta a major worry for dairy producers. “Changes to require manufacturers and farmers to call it something like crumbly cheese in brine just would be devastating. That would be such a change to the dynamics of the marketplace. We think that’s unfair.”

The dairy sector will be particularly affected, with consumers having come to recognize products and their popularity with these names. The Australian Dairy Industry Council has put the potential impact of strict enforcement of new naming rules at up to $90 million a year in the early stages of a free trade deal. However, the government plans to back the sector with bringing forth their argument. Mr. Mahar said the starting point for negotiations was slanted in the negative against agriculture. “We’re a bit concerned at the opening start of negotiations, but we hope and we’ll be demanding that there’s good market access for Australian farmers as part of this agreement,” he said.