Extraordinary reason why haloumi cheese could be BAN in Australia – costing local dairy farmers tens of millions
- Under a new rule, haloumi cheese is becoming very rare in Australian supermarkets
- Australia is currently negotiating a valuable free trade agreement with the EU
- The EU requires that certain product names are only produced in Europe
Haloumi cheese could soon become very difficult to find on Australian supermarket shelves following a decision by the regulator.
The European Union has stated that the cheese is a traditional product of Cyprus, so foreign manufacturers do not use the name.
The ban is enacted on the same basis as the making of champagne wine which can only be made in the Champagne region of France – the rest is called ‘sparkling’ wine.
The Australian dairy industry is gearing up to fight the ban, complaining that local producers will be hit with tens of millions of dollars in losses.
Under a new deal with the European Union, dairy farmers in Australia would not be allowed to use the name Haloumi cheese (stock image)
Terry Richardson, chairman of the Australian Dairy Industry Council, said the EU has already raised issues about different cheese names among Aussie farmers.
“ Now they have opened the option to add to that list once the deal is finalized and it’s just going too far, ” he said. 7 News
Australia is negotiating a free trade agreement with the European Union that would contain rules to streamline trade between regions.
The EU, with its combined GDP of more than $ 14 trillion, is Australia’s fourth largest trading partner.
“We must prevent this free trade agreement from allowing the EU to take over our cheese names,” Richardson said.
The EU Geographical Indication System requires by law that certain product names be made in a specific location or method.
Some wines, olive oils, beers, cheeses and sausages are examples of the types of products included in the system.
For example, Roquefort cheese must be made with a specific breed of sheep’s milk and matured in caves near Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in France under a Protected Designation of Origin label.
An employee prepares haloumi cheese for packaging during the production process at the factory of GI Keses Ltd. in Cyprus (photo)
Mr Richardson argues that haloumi refers to a type of cheese and not a cheese unique to a region.
“The origin of the cheese is irrelevant as the name is generic and is not associated with the region in Cyprus, but with a certain taste, texture and functionality,” he said.
The largest dairy industry body estimates that the impact on local producers of banning the name could be between $ 70 and $ 90 million per year.
The EU is demanding that Australia adopt the Geographical Indication System under the FTA.
Haloumi isn’t currently on the list, but Tuesday’s ruling could set a precedent that more products could be added after the deal goes into effect.