Research report examines protection of Australian brands in overseas markets

A research report analyses how Australian farmers can capitalise on opportunities to supply overseas markets where consumers are willing to pay higher prices for quality local food products.

It finds that farmers can benefit from collaborating both to produce high value goods and to protect their provenance brands in international markets.

The study, funded by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) and conducted by researchers William van Caenegem, Jen Cleary and Lucie Tréguier, examines the mechanisms for provenance brand protection in the key export markets of China and Japan, along with options for Australia to better take advantage of the protection offered by such systems.

“Consumers are increasingly seeking quality foods with a local story and a familiar brand which 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 Managing Director, John Harvey said, “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 provenance brands in key Asian markets.

“It will also help inform discussion between industry and government decision makers in relation to Australia’s own approach to domestic Geographical Indications protection.”

The study compliments a report released by the RIRDC that examined technological options for validating the authenticity of Australian agricultural products.

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