Extraordinary Reason Haloumi Cheese Could Be BANNED In Australia – Costing Local Dairy Farmers Tens of Millions
- Haloumi cheese becomes very rare in Australian supermarkets under Australian rules
- Australia is currently negotiating a valuable free trade agreement with the EU
- The EU demands that certain product names are only made in Europe
Haloumi cheese could soon be very difficult to find on Australian supermarket shelves following a shock authority decision.
The European Union has declared the cheese a traditional Cyprus product, preventing foreign producers from using the name.
The ban is enacted on the same basis as champagne wine, which is only allowed to be made in French Champagne – the rest is called “sparkling wine”.
The Australian diary industry prepares to tackle the ban, complaining that local producers will suffer tens of millions in losses.
According to a new agreement with the European Union, dairy farmers in Australia would be prohibited from using the name Haloumi cheese (archive image).
Terry Richardson, chair of the Australian Dairy Industry Council, said the EU had already raised questions about various brands of cheese with Australian farmers.
“Now they have the opportunity to add to that list as soon as the deal is finalized and it just goes too far,” he told 7 News.
Australia is negotiating a free trade agreement with the European Union, which will set out rules for streamlining trade between regions.
The EU, with a combined GDP of more than $ 14 trillion, is Australia’s fourth largest trading partner.
“We have to prevent this free trade agreement from allowing the EU to adopt our cheese names,” said Richardson.
The EU system of geographical indications is a legal requirement that certain product names must be created in a specific location or using a specific 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 aged in caves near Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in France under the Protected Designation of Origin label.
An employee prepares Haloumi cheese for packaging during the production process at GI Keses Ltd. in Cyprus (picture)
Mr Richardson argues that Haloumi refers to a type of cheese, not one that is unique to a region.
“The origin of the cheese is irrelevant as the name is generic and not associated with the region in Cyprus but with a specific taste, texture and functionality,” he said.
The dairy industry’s top organization estimates the impact of banning the name on local producers could be anywhere from $ 70 million to $ 90 million a year.
The EU demands that Australia adopt the system of geographical indications under the free trade agreement.
Haloumi is currently unlisted, but Tuesday’s decision could set a precedent that more products could be added after the deal goes into effect.