Hard cheese for Australian producers as they fear losing naming rights in EU food fight | Australia news

farmers and wine producers have urged the government not to make them a “scapegoat” in the final stages of trade negotiations with the European Union.

The plea has been sparked by fears Australian producers could be blocked from using the names feta and prosecco as part of a free trade agreement that both sides hope to finalise by the middle of this year.

The trade , Don Farrell, said the names remained a sticking point in the negotiations and he was trying to persuade the EU to recognise “just how important and how difficult it is to give those things up”.

But in an interview with Guardian ’s political podcast, Farrell refused to rule out the possibility of a shift in position if the EU agreed to grant substantial market access to Australian exporters.

“Ultimately, we want a deal,” Farrell said. “If we’re serious about trade diversification, then we need to ensure that we have a variety of free trade agreements, but we haven’t made any concessions in respect of these products, and let’s see how the negotiations go.”

, the of the advocacy body Farmers, urged the to “hold the line” because a concession on naming rights would have “a huge negative effect on the dairy industry”.

Gladigau said smaller cheesemakers could be put out of business. He described the industry’s meetings with Farrell and negotiators as “extremely positive”, but said he did not think the EU would give up on the names issue “without a fight”.

“I’d be pretty disappointed if dairy became the scapegoat for something else just to get this across the line,” Gladigau said.

“We’ve had the come out from early on and say, ‘we’re not going to sign a deal that’s not beneficial to ’. So we go, OK, that’s good, that’s what we want to hear, just don’t dump dairy as part of that trade.”

Gladigau said the Australian…


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