10 November 2023

Talks on EU-Australia free trade deal collapsed: Australia’s vintners rejoice

Australia | The free trade deal between the European Union and Australia, which has been in the making since 2018, will not happen any time soon. The latest attempt to wrap things up fell apart in dramatic fashion on 30 October, after the Australians made last minute demands which the EU could not accept.

With the blame game in full swing, Australians prefer to see things differently. Wine producers, for their part, are glad that the Australian Government turned against the EU free-trade deal, which would have endangered Australian Prosecco production. As they see it, the deal would have limited the use of the name Prosecco to wines produced in Italy, essentially preventing the production of Australian Prosecco.

I say you say

The Australians regard the term Prosecco as the name of a grape. The EU begs to differ. It regards it as a geographical indication (GI), which only producers from that area may use.

“Protecting the term as a geographical indication is a cynical attempt to avoid competition from Australian wine producers,” said Professor of Law, Mark Davison, from Monash University.

The success of Australian Prosecco has been a boon for the wine industry in recent years.

It could be years until trade deal negotiations begin again. The EU will soon enter into campaign mode ahead of the June 2024 elections to the European Parliament, while Australians are scheduled to go to the polls sometime before September 2025.

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