EU Ambassador Pushes for More Regional Branding in Australia

Australians farmers have been urged to introduce more so-called protected regional branding in a bid to mimic moves made by products from Champagne and Cognac in Europe.

The European Union Ambassador to Australia is pushing the message, saying geographic indicators can help smaller farmers stay profitable.

Under the system, which is in place in Europe, certain registered goods are offered legal protection for product names that are associated with geographical areas.

Ambassador Sam Fabrizi said while Australia has geographic indication for wine, it should be expanded to food as well.

"Geographic indication production has become very fashionable in Europe," he said.

"It allows even the smallest producers to be recognised as his own creation. The way he farms, the way he produces wine, in the way no others have."

Mr Fabrizi said by expanding the line it could make trade easier in the future.

"Australia is already using GI for wine, so wine products already benefit. We would like to see it moved to foodstuffs as well - the famous King Valley cheese is one example," he said.

"Also, when we move to a free trade agreement with Australia, we will be able to compare apples with apples, and not apples with oranges. More

Photo by Alain Joulien