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Why Europe is trying to force Australia to stop selling prosecco, feta and parmesan

Australia may have to stop selling prosecco, feta and parmesan in a bid to protect the European products’ culture and tradition.

Prosecco farmers and the Italian Government are pushing the European Union to protect the sparkling wine from being produced in other countries. 

Sales and exports of Australian-produced prosecco has grown by 400 per cent in recent years, while domestic sales are up 50 per cent. 

However, Australian prosecco producers say sales are at risk if a trade deal is made with Europe to protect the sparkling wine. 

Prosecco farmers and the Italian Government are pushing the European Union to protect the sparkling wine from being produced in other countries

Third-generation Italian vineyard owner William Spinazze told the ABC Italian farmers are trying to protect it ‘with all their forces’. 

‘We know that some countries are producing prosecco as well, but it was born here and it’s the same as Champagne,’ Mr Spinazze said.

Italian winemakers and the Government are trying to restrict the use of the word ‘prosecco’ and register it as a Geographical Indication (GI). 

A GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess significance that relate directly to that origin.

After the grape’s name was changed to glera in 2009, the European Commission attempted to register Prosecco as a GI in Australia in 2013 but failed when Australia argued it adopted the name because it was a ‘generic variety’ such as shiraz. 

Italy hopes to give prosecco the same level of protection that Champagne has, which is the world’s most famous GI. 

According to vice-president of the European Parliament’s agriculture and rural development committee, Paolo De Catro, winemakers are proud to use the name ‘prosecco’, as it derives from a town in Italy’s north-east.

‘We very much would like to find a way to create a market for the real prosecco and to find a way to clarify to the Australian consumer when prosecco is made in a vineyard in Australia,’ he said.  

Sales and exports of Australian-produced prosecco has grown by 400 per cent in recent years, while domestic sales are up 50 per cent

Sales and exports of Australian-produced prosecco has grown by 400 per cent in recent years, while domestic sales are up 50 per cent

Australia could be at risk of losing feta, parmesan, haloumi, bri, camembert, pecorino, edam and cheddar

Australia could be at risk of losing feta, parmesan, haloumi, bri, camembert, pecorino, edam and cheddar

Popular European cheeses could also be caught up in the GI debacle between Australia and Europe.

If Europe wants them protected. Australia could be at risk of losing feta, parmesan, haloumi, bri, camembert, pecorino, edam and cheddar.

Australia is also concerned about the term ‘prosciutto’ after the EU sought protections in New Zealand for Prosciutto di Parma, Prosciutto di San Daniele and Prosciutto Toscana. 

Commissioner in charge of agricultural and rural development policies, Phil Hogan, said there will only be a ‘handful’ of GIs that will spark anger in Australia.

‘I think from an Australian producer’s point of view, they will have to produce this particular evidence in order that it doesn’t conflict with our Italian friends,’ he said.

Feta cheese is also facing an Australian rebrand as Greek people find the term ‘Greek feta’ ridiculous. 

Australia is also concerned about the term 'prosciutto' after the EU sought protections in New Zealand for Prosciutto di Parma

Australia is also concerned about the term ‘prosciutto’ after the EU sought protections in New Zealand for Prosciutto di Parma 

Many believe feta can only be produced properly in Greece as it must come from the milk produced from sheep and goats grazing in their specific microclimate. 

Italian cheese producers in the northern Italy town of Parma – renowned for the famous Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma – are also pushing for stronger GIs.

While there is currently GIs on both products, the producers want to have protection on the word ‘parmesan’. 

The word parmesan is an English translation of ‘Parmigiano Reggiano’, but it isn’t likely Italy will ask Australia to change its products. 

President of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese consortium, Nicola Bertinelli, said the cheese has certain characteristics that come from the type of land cattle are grazed on.

She said that it will be argued that ‘parmesan’ is not a generic name for cheese, but is associated with Italian products. 

Feta cheese is also facing an Australian rebrand as Greek people find the term 'Greek feta' ridiculous

Feta cheese is also facing an Australian rebrand as Greek people find the term ‘Greek feta’ ridiculous

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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