And the verdict? Thumbs up to top-quality European food products that are registered through the European Union's Geographical Indications (GI) system.
The @EUinAus team together with representatives from EU Member States: Austria, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal and Spain (and contributions from Germany and Czechia) took part in the three-day summit, September 3-6.
The summit was an opportunity to showcase the considerable benefits to Victorian producers and consumers of being able to access Europe’s 500 million consumers.
GIs protect products made in specific locations and drive sustainable growth in regional areas. Australia’s stance on GIs will be an important factor in the EU agreeing to open up the lucrative European market to Australian producers as part of the agreement.
The EU’s Trade Counsellor in Australia, Cornelis Keijzer, said a GI system would have many benefits for Victorian producers.“First and foremost, this European GI system will generate higher prices at the farm gate for Victorian producers,” Mr Keijzer said. “Furthermore, GIs will create jobs in regional and rural areas; GIs draw tourists to regional areas looking for unique food and wine experiences and GIs help premium producers protect their products from imposters.”
The Australian Government agreed to include GIs in the free trade agreement during the pre-negotiation process. The Australian Government recently published the list of geographical indications under negotiation and called for public consultations.
“The Government’s decision to publish the list clears the way for the EU to put the finishing touches on the first market access offer in order for an exchange with Australia well before the fifth round of negotiations in Canberra in October,” Mr Keijzer said. “The list makes it clear that Australian producers can continue to make products with common names such as brie, camembert, salami, gouda, pecorino or cheddar.”
The new President of the European Commission, Ursula von den Leyen, recently restated the EU’s desire to “swiftly conclude ongoing negotiations with Australia” in her published guidelines.
For a factsheet on the benefits of an EU-Australia FTA please click here.
To read about the EU’s latest report after the fourth round of FTA negotiations held in Brussels in June click here.
To view videos explaining GIs and the benefits for Australian producers then click here.