The study, funded by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), highlighted that sheepmeat and beef producers and processed meat manufacturers were among the main industries that could benefit from export opportunities. Others included producers of fruit and vegetables, beverages, native foods, herbs and spices, and nuts and pulses.
The analysis looked into protecting brands in key export markets, such as China and Japan, and encouraged Australian producers to take better advantage of protection offered by Geographical Indication (GI) systems.
“Consumers are increasingly seeking quality foods with a local story and a familiar brand they trust, but these brand values are constantly threatened by free riders and those making false claims about provenance, ingredients and practices,” said William van Caenegem, principal author of the report.
“To adequately protect their investment, it is essential that Australian producers adopt a legal strategy with proactive registration of marks and brands, effective policing and a visible effort at enforcement. They should choose an appropriate collaborative legal vehicle to underpin their investment, and rely on both technological and legal solutions to maximise protection.”
RIRDC’s managing director John Harvey added that the report offered in-depth information into brand protection schemes for the sector. “The report will be a valuable resource for farmers and agricultural groups by providing them with a better understanding of the legal systems available to protect their brands in key Asian markets,” he explained.
“It will also help inform discussion between industry and government decision-makers in relation to Australia’s own approach to domestic Geographical Indication protection.”
Jen Cleary and Lucie Tréguier have also been credited as researchers for the paper, alongside Caenegem.