CANBERRA: Australian Olive Association chief executive Greg Seymour said the EU was negotiating a trade deal with Japan and one of the issues was protection of product names based on “geographical indications” including kalamata. Mr Seymour said had the EU been successful, Australia could not have called the olives kalamata when exporting them to Japan. However, he said the association was advised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that Japan had determined kalamata was both a plant and a region. Mr Seymour said the EU was also negotiating with China and both China and Japan were small markets for Australia. “It’s all about setting a precedent with all the trade deals that are happening at the moment,” he said. “Japan is the first cab off the rank and the next one coming up is China.
“There’s no guarantee they will decide the same, but the decision by Japan certainly helps in our favour.” Mr Seymour said the negotiations began two or three months ago and DFAT had to work quickly to get a positive outcome. He expected the decisions from China to come in a month or two. Mr Seymour said kalamata was the main table olive grown in Australia, grown mostly in the southern states. “While we don’t send a lot into China, who knows what is going to happen,” he said. “We are looking to increase our exports markets.” This is not the first battle Australian producers have fought over naming rights.