Geographical Indications in the Dairy Industry

31 October 2019

Australia and the European Union (EU) have been locked in discussion on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The EU has proposed imposing restrictions on the names of certain foods only being allowed to be used from the region that they originate from.

A Geographical Indication (GI) identifies a product as originating in a specific region where a particular quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is attributable to that geographic origin. This is best illustrated with an example from the wine industry, where champagne and burgundy are both now protected GIs. These sanctions would impact on the Tasmanian dairy industry as they can be restrictive and anti-competitive.

The impact of a strict agreement on GIs would be keenly felt by farmers, with the possibility of lower demand for raw products that will impact on farmers’ returns. Reduced company sales and revenues will flow through into weaker demand for off-farm milk and negatively impact regional farm gate prices.

Local products with aggregate annual sales of over $650 million are potentially at some commercial risk. The potential direct cost to Australian dairy manufacturers (due to lost sales and increased marketing costs) from the strict enforcement of dairy GIs under an FTA could range from $70-90 million p.a. in the early years of the FTA.

The TFGA have been in discussions with ADF and Dairy Australia on the best way to get the information out to members, as the information comes in different formats. The implications it has on farmers could be more than

Australian Dairy Farmers have provided an overview of the impact it can have on the dairy industry, just click here.

There is a leaflet on GI that provides more information, just click here.

There are podcasts on GI as well. Part 1 is here, and part 2 is here Submissions to local MP’s and the Department of Foreign Affair and Trade (DFAT) can be submitted directly to the local MP’s office or through DFAT here or you can do submit it online here. Submissions need to be in before November 13th

To view a guide to the potential impact on Australian Dairy click here