Farmers are being urged to fight back against the European Union’s demands for Australia to restrict the use of
common cheese names in a proposed free trade agreement between Australia and the 28 EU countries.
Peak dairy farmer groups the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV) and Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF), supported by
the industry’s services body Dairy Australia, will lead a series of events across Victoria aimed at giving farmers the
information they need to tell the Federal Government how a ban on common cheese names will impact their
UDV President Paul Mumford said the events, which will be hosted by the farmer group, would include a presentation
from the Department of Agriculture on the concept of geographical indications (GIs), Dairy Australia on how GIs will
impact the dairy industry, and ADF on how the industry is responding to the EU’s GI threat, as well as a Q&A session
featuring all three organisations.
“We’re really cheesed off that the EU is demanding we stop using common product names, such as feta, parmesan, and
mozzarella. So we’re urging farmers, manufacturers and even consumers to stay informed and learn how they can help
us convince the Federal Government that GIs will be another kick in the guts for the dairy industry,” Mr Mumford said
The dairy industry estimates that the EU’s demand for GI protections will impact Australia dairy products with an
aggregate sales value of more than $650 million.
Cheese manufacturers could end up paying a staggering $70-90 million per year in the early stages of the planned trade
deal to rebrand and repackage products, as well as engage in consumer re-education.
ADF President Terry Richardson said the industry remained anxious that dairy would be a major loser out of any trade
deal between Australia and the EU.
“This agreement must have benefits for both sides, considering the ease of access European dairy manufacturers have
to the Australian market,” Mr Richardson said.
“An opportunity exists to remove trade barriers that are currently stifling dairy trade between Australia and the EU, but
this deal should free up the trade relationship rather than creates technical barriers such as GIs,” Mr Richardson said.
The events will be held across the state at:
- Warrnambool | Warrnambool Bowls Club, Monday September 30, 7:30pm
- Cobden | Cobden Football Club, Tuesday October 1, 11:00am
- Tangambalanga | Tangambalanga Community Hall, Monday October 7, 7:30pm
- Kyabram | Ky Club, Tuesday October 8, 11:00am
- Tinamba | Tinamba Community Hall, Monday October 21, 11:00am
- Leongatha | Leongatha RSL, Monday October 21, 7:30pm
VFF Media Contacts:
Paul Mumford, UDV President, 0439 790 469
Heather Smillie, VFF Stakeholder, Media & Communications Officer, 0400 874 589
ADF Media Contact:
Ashley Mackinnon, Media & Communications Manager, 0447 161 919
About the VFF
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is dedicated to representing the interests of farmers and making a positive
difference to their businesses and communities. We strive to create an environment for our members, our farmers,
that enables profitable, safe, sustainable production to ensure an enduring social licence in a community that respects
and values the sector.