The culmination of five years’ research by Professor of Law Mark Davison at the Faculty of Law at Monash University in conjunction with Macquarie University, the study counters the European Union’s (EU) attempts to limit the use of the term Prosecco.
“The evidence speaks for itself, Prosecco has been recognised as the name of a grape for centuries, but not as a geographical indication (GI). Protecting the term as a geographical indication is a cynical attempt to avoid competition from Australian wine producers,” said Professor Davison.
The report offers historical precedents for the term being used to describe a grape variety dating back as far as the 1700s, and highlights the lack of evidence produced by the Italian Government and EU when the name of the Prosecco grape was changed to ‘Glera’ in 2009 in the EU.
The paper is good news for Australian Prosecco producers, and Lee McLean, Chief Executive Officer of Australian Grape & Wine, thanked the report’s authors, saying they went “above and beyond.”
“With the Australian Government undertaking a public objections process on EU GIs, including Prosecco, this report confirms the importance of making sure the Government receives as many submissions into this process as possible.
“The risks of banning the ability of our industry to use well-established grape variety names are significant and have to potential to cause widespread damage to our sector and the regional communities it underpins,” said McLean.
Prosecco is a $200 million business in Australia, with the grape being grown in 20 regions nationwide. Losing the right to use the term Prosecco would be a blow to a sector already under economic strain.
The Australian Government has opened a public objections process over the matter to give the wine industry, stakeholders and the public a chance to have their say. Submissions must be lodged before 12 pm on Friday 21 April 2023 at https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/public-objections-process