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On Feta and Fetta: Protecting EU geographical indications in Australia
Journal of Agricultural Economics  (IF3.581),  Pub Date : 2021-12-06, DOI: 10.1111/1477-9552.12469
Martijn Huysmans

The European Union (EU) protects about 1500 regional specialty foods such as Feta cheese and Gouda Holland. However, this geographical indications (GIs) protection does not automatically extend to other jurisdictions. This article tests a theory of EU demands for GIs in EU–Australia trade negotiations, using newly coded data on EU GI names in Australian supermarkets. Focusing on cheese, it confirms that the EU seeks protection for GIs where the authentic EU GI products are well established. The demand for protection does not seem to be driven primarily by current non-GI uses of GI names, since a qualitative analysis reveals few product names that would be banned if EU demands are granted by Australia. These findings imply that Australian negotiators and producers should be less afraid of losing currently established generic food names—a fear that is especially present in the United States, which has strongly opposed the protection of GIs worldwide.