Australian cheese makers may be facing a re-branding nightmare if the European Union succeeds in including Geographic Indications in the new Free Trade Agreement with Australia. Under GI, Australian businesses are restricted from labelling their cheeses after regions the cheese originates from. This includes cheeses such as feta and parmesan. GIs could also extend as far as restricting any symbol of origin on Australian packaging.
Floridia Cheese invited Dairy Australia and Ms Madeleine King MP, Shadow Minister for Trade to discuss the impact GIs will have if introduced. The 60 year old family business is among other cheese producers in Australia who will be required to change branding at a large expense and lose competitiveness to international products that are entitled to traditional cheese names.
MNFG has written to all relevant State and Federal Government ministers to urge they take action against GIs for the future of Australia’s cheese industry. With a large network of cheese producers in Melbourne’s north, MNFG is concerned about the effect this will have on local business.Letter to Simon Birmingham