Geographical Indications are among the sensitive issues for NZ in free-trade talks with EU

Trade  Minister  Damien  O’Connor  has  revived hopes  that  New Zealand  can  land  a free  trade  agreement  with the  UK  this  year  and another one subsequently  with  the  EU, following  his just- concluded  mission  to  European capitals.

Farm lobbies  had  not been  confident   when  he  set  out.  In  the case  of the  UK  we had been beaten to the punch by  Australia.

It  seemed  unlikely  NZ  could  get  anything better  than their  Australian counterparts  who  appeared willing to  accept  a  long  phaseout on duties  on,  in particular,  most farm products, including dairy.

Since then Australia  has  entered  the  AUKUS  pact,  which  particularly  riled France’s President Macron because Australia’s decision to  acquire  nuclear submarines  from the US   meant cancellation of  a  previous  (very expensive)  deal to  buy French   diesel-powered submarines.

So  one  of  the major thrusts of  O’Connor’s  mission  became advancing  free trade negotiations with the EU.

Continue reading “Geographical Indications are among the sensitive issues for NZ in free-trade talks with EU”

It isn’t hard cheese if the EU gets its way with GIs, chef insists – but dairy exporters are likely to disagree

Kiwi cheese-makers will be wondering which advice they should take from chef Simon Gault.

This week he was saying they should stop trying to imitate brie and gouda and focus on producing uniquely New Zealand styles.

His advice was given to people watching a webinar arranged by the European Union Delegation to New Zealand, an outfit committed to promoting the EU’s increasing use of geographical indications to protect European products.

In June last year, however, Gault  was singing the praises of NZ French-style cheeses. 

In particular, he was enthusing about a French-style camembert made in the Nelson region.

So you don’t have to go to France to buy a cheese, he advised.

“ Bastille day is coming up – let’s buy NZ French cheese” Continue reading “It isn’t hard cheese if the EU gets its way with GIs, chef insists – but dairy exporters are likely to disagree”