Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement Update

The 15th round of Australia-European Union (EU) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations concluded last Friday, 28 May 2023 in Brussels. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) have since noted that “Negotiators made substantial progress, closing many chapters across the agreement. Australia aims to conclude a comprehensive and ambitious FTA with the EU as soon as possible.”

Whilst this indicates some work still remains to conclude the FTA, it is clear that both sides will now be working quickly to conclude by mid-year as they have publicly stated. It remains unclear what this means for a number of our key priorities in the FTA, in particular the contentious topic of Prosecco. We are awaiting briefings from the Government on the negotiations, which should occur in the coming weeks.

What we do know, however, is that the sector as a whole made an incredibly impactful response to the Government’s EU Geographic Indicator (GI) consultation in the leadup to these negotiations. From the reports we have seen, the response surpassed expectations. We were able to view a number of submissions that will have definitely had an impact. Submissions from local councils, legal firms, suppliers, regional and state associations, growers, wine producers and others, all detailing the fact that not only proves Prosecco is a grape variety, but the devastating impact any changes to this would have on the sector. You should all pat yourselves on the back!

It is clear the fight is nearing the end, but we can’t take the foot off the pedal just yet. Australian Grape & Wine and the sector need to ensure we continue to advocate for the right outcome and make sure the Australian Government knows it has no other choice but to #SaveAussieProsecco.

Katherine Brown from Brown Family Wine Group started a Change.Org petition not that long ago, if you haven’t done so already we would encourage you all to jump on and sign the petition.

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