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 EU demands name changes to Australian food exports

14.08.19.  It’s not only China bullying its arrogant ways around the world, but the bloated EU as well. The EU is demanding that many Australian food and beverage companies “rebrand” their products as it seeks to protect similar European products.
Britain has been trying for three years to release the EU’s grip around its throat and the fat cats don’t like it—they don’t like any interference in their patch. Most business traders know that if you have a good product to sell the market will be receptive. Australian food products in particular are world class—except Vegemite to the US market, perhaps?
With the EU currently Australia’s second-largest trading partner, third-largest export destination and second-largest services export market, Senator Birmingham said it was crucial to secure an agreement that benefited Australian businesses. Australian food and drinks companies could be forced to re-name their products and change colours on their packaging under restrictions being proposed by the European Union.

Source: Geoff Chambers, News Corp

Rebrand Aussie goods, EU demands

Dairy, meat and alcohol companies are expected to be the hardest hit under the EU’s strict demands, which would target popular cheese, spirits and specialised food products.
The EU — which has imposed similar product term conditions in free-trade agreements with Canada, Japan and South Korea — is pushing the protections as part of its negotiations with the federal government.
The product list, referred to as “geographical indications”, ­includes protections for localised EU food and drink brands and could force Australian companies to refer to their products as “Australian feta” and avoid using “Scotch whisky”.
The Australian understands that packaging may need to be changed on other products, including popular cheeses such as mozzar­ella, to avoid conflicts with European brands.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said Australia would drive “a very hard bargain” on the EU product demands, which will be publicly released today in a move to avoid FTA negotiation delays.
Senator Birmingham, who will consult with impacted industries over the next three months, said the government was seeking to “achieve an overall agreement that delivers more opportunity for Australian farmers and businesses”.
“Ultimately, we will only do this deal if overall it is in Australia’s interests to do so,” he said.
In previous trade deals the EU indicated it was open to including “grandfathering ­arrangements”, which would mean the name protections may not apply to existing products. With the EU currently Australia’s second-largest trading partner, third-largest export destination and second-largest services export market, Senator Birmingham said it was crucial to secure an agreement that benefited Australian businesses.
“We want to hear directly from Australian farmers and businesses so that we can fully represent them in our continuing negotiations with the EU,” he said. “There are enormous opportunities for Australian farmers and businesses if we can improve their access to markets across the EU. The EU boasts more than 500 million consumers and, even with existing trade restrictions, it is already Australia’s third-largest export market.
“Whilst we understand the importance the EU places on geographical indications, our priority is ensuring our farmers and businesses can get better market ­access and be more competitive in the EU.”
With the EU imposing higher tariffs than Australia on industrial goods — with exports facing tariffs of up to 12 per cent on resources, 10 per cent on wood and paper, and 7 per cent on chemicals, the government is seeking to use the FTA to eliminate all EU tariffs on industrial goods.
In return, Australia plans to cut tariffs on imports from the EU. ­According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, under current arrangements, Australian agricultural ­exports to the EU, including beef, sheep meat, rice, cheese and sugar are “significantly constrained by EU tariff quotas”.
“High and seasonal tariffs ­impair trade in other agricultural commodities such as horticulture,” DFAT said. “We will aim for full tariff liberalisation of agriculture in the FTA, while noting that negotiations on some agricultural products will be particularly difficult.”
The FTA would also aim to “guarantee access for Australian services exporters to the EU, as well as create new opportunities in sectors of key commercial ­interest” including education, ­financial and professional ­services.
Senator Birmingham said the EU FTA consultation process would “help us better understand the views of Australian industry, which will assist us in our ongoing discussions with the EU on why their requested protection of certain terms will not be acceptable in some cases”.
Many of the products on the EU geographical indications list are not used by Australian producers. Most of the 236 GI names are spirit drink labels unfamiliar to Australian products.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Lorraine 14/08/2019, 5:39 am

    Birmingham will bow to their demands, he has just cautioned Andrew Hastie on China re and trade deals that need protecting. so Australian business get ready to re brand and re package. He will advise you it is your best interest to do so…Hardly worth the effort of the fight.

    • DT 14/08/2019, 7:59 am

      He is not an impressive minister, and his comments directed at Andrew Hastie were pathetic.

      • Albert 14/08/2019, 10:52 am

        I agree DT.
        Birmingham is little more than a sock-puppet of the EU and especially China who obviously bows to outside pressure in an effort to make himself seem concerned about the national interest.
        Incidently, Hastie, who has been disturbingly misquoted, didn’t mention the word Nazis in his speech and has a much greater grip on reality. Birmingham and others would do well to heed Hasties warnings

      • DT 14/08/2019, 12:00 pm

        Being misquoted by the leftist media is par for the course Albert, as we all realise.

        In Abbott’s time it was called relentless negativity, POTUS Trump is well aware of the “fake news”.

  • Graham Richards 14/08/2019, 5:49 am

    All food in EU is subsidised, heavily. We should not be making trade deals with EU to import food which puts our own food producers, processors at a disadvantage. Are we looking to undermine & destroy our own industries?Just remember Free Trade deals means there are no tariffs or duty.
    To have them also dictating what branding / labelling must be used is suicide? I can’t see reciprocal trade with EU allowing Australing wine into Europe tariff free. How desperate is our Trade Minister??
    I can see resistance / boycotts by the public on this issue on the horizon.

  • luk1955 14/08/2019, 6:28 am

    Did I read this right? That the EU will impose higher tariffs on Australian imports than the EU exports coming to Australia?
    And you can dam well expect Birmingham to line his pockets with EU money while stabbing our producers in the back.
    No wonder the poms want out of this EU band of criminals. We send them our best food while they dump their other crap in our country.

    • DT 14/08/2019, 12:01 pm

      He might be anticipating a donation from the submarine designer, might later become manufacturer if the engineering works out?

  • Botswana O'Hooligan 14/08/2019, 7:48 am

    Surely a map of Australia logo or just “made in Australia” would suffice.

    • Graham Richards 14/08/2019, 8:07 am

      The branding is a small issue here. EU subsidies are the problem. Our food producers get no subsidies from government so they are disadvantaged from start. Remember what happened to our car industry as a result of subsidies.
      Subsidies are a death knell to any industry no matter which way you look at it. It’s the easiest way to wipe our food producers out!

  • Popular Front 14/08/2019, 8:40 am

    This was covered in ‘Yes Minister’ as I recall. The EU demanded that British sausages be rebranded as ’emulsified high-fat offal tubing’ which made poor old Jim rather nauseous as he’d had a sausage for breakfast.

  • Aktosplatz 14/08/2019, 8:46 am

    The EU are Globalists, have a look at Nigel Farage’s recent speeches at this recent Conservatives Conference in Sydney (on Youtube). He talks about this very thing.

    The aim of the EU is to close down small business and they do it by increasing regulation and red tape which only the large multinationals can handle by employing more staff and resources.

    They have been at this despicable game internationally for the last 20 odd years or so.

    • DT 14/08/2019, 12:03 pm

      Nigel Farrage spoke about the EU HQ mission to create an EU Defence Force to replace member nation’s forces. He asked what would be preferable, an EU commanded force or the combined UK, US & NATO forces.

  • JK. 14/08/2019, 2:22 pm

    Make me trade minister and I’d tell them the same as Jim Hacker, “Get stuffed”

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