The Winemakers Federation of Australia (WFA) has welcomed the announcement that Australia and the European Union (EU) have entered into negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Trade and Investment Steven Ciobo said that they were launching the negotiations for the agreement which would bring benefits to Australian businesses and jobs.

Tony Battaglene, the WFA’s CEO said he hopes that Australia’s wine sector would benefit from the negotiations with the removal of tariffs into the European Union market.

“The Australian wine sector has been a major beneficiary of the Governments aggressive free trade agenda, and regional Australia is reaping the benefits,” Battaglene said.

He added: “The use of grape variety names, such as Prosecco, is a point of contention between the European Union and Australia. Prosecco has always been an internationally recognised grape variety, until 2009, when the European Union cynically sought to prevent its use by non-European producers. Australia’s burgeoning Prosecco industry would be destroyed if Australian negotiators were to bow to European demands.  Flow-on effects for other grape varieties could have a significant impact on Australian wine businesses as well as threatening other agricultural commodities.“

Battaglene went on to praise the Government for their strong support for the Australian wine sector in international negotiations.

“In the lead up to these negotiations, WFA has been raising awareness of the grape variety protection issue and the support from all political parties has been unprecedented.  The Australian people have rallied behind the cause and publically expressed their support,” he said.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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