09 February 2023
The Tasmania Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) supports the Australia-European Union (EU) Free Trade Agreement in principle. The negotiations for this agreement have been underway since June 2018 and are now in the final stages. The TFGA recognises the tremendous potential of the EU market, which boasts a population of nearly 450 million and a Gross Domestic Product of $23 trillion.
However, the TFGA is concerned about recent demands from the EU to implement a Geographical Indications (GI’s) regime requiring Australian dairy producers to stop using traditional names such as Brie, Parmesan, and Cheddar.
TFGA CEO, Hugh Christie said the renaming of these products would make it harder for consumers to understand what they are buying, and cost producers millions in rebranding and marketing efforts.
“The EU is simply attempting to impose its market power on Australians,” he said.
He stated, "If the EU wants us to adopt alternative cheese names, they should be prepared to cover the costs of renaming, repackaging, and redesigning. This decision could have devastating consequences for Tasmanian dairy farmers and cheese producers, putting jobs at risk, and it's only fair that the government advocate for everyday Australians."
According to Australian Dairy Farmers, the implementation of a Geographical Indication (GI) scheme could result in a decrease of gross regional production by more than $220 million and job losses ranging from 650 to 1000
“The Australian Government must ensure that EU does not impose an overly restrictive and anti-competitive Geographical Indication regime on Australia.”
“The TFGA does not want to see Tasmanian farmers and producers negatively impacted by a poor decision made in Brussels. Common sense, as well as the well-being of the industry and its employees, must prevail” he said.
For comment please contact:
Grayson Genders, Manager Communications and Engagement
(Mob): 0407 863 111