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August 15, 2019

Food features in extensive list of items EU wants protected in Australia trade deal

The European Union has issued an extensive list of items including food that it wants protected under a trade deal being negotiated with Australia.

By Dean Best

The European Union has issued a list of 400 items including food that it wants protected under a trade deal being negotiated with Australia, or so-called geographical indications.

The list covers 172 food products ranging from dairy items such as cheeses and butter, plus confectionery, olive oil, sausage and bacon originating from various countries within the EU, according to details supplied by Australia’s Department of Foreign Trade and Affairs. The European trading bloc is Australia’s second-largest trading partner.

Trade deal talks have been underway for the past year, and the EU is seeking to protect the use of product names such as the French cheeses Bleu d’Auvergne, Camembert de Normandie and Gruyère, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese originating from Italy and Nürnberger Bratwürste sausages from Germany. 

Australian trade minister Simon Birmingham was quoted by local broadcaster ABC as saying: “Australia doesn’t like the idea of geographical indications but this is a not-negotiable element from the European Union.

“We will put up a strong fight in terms of areas of Australian interests and ultimately what we’re trying to do is get the best possible deal that ensures Australian businesses and farmers can get better access to a market engaging 500 million potential consumers.”

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