Legislation has passed parliament enabling Wine Australia to establish a Wine Export Label Directory to help wine brand owners protect their export wine labels against copycat labelling.
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the passing of the Wine Australia Amendment (Label Directory) Act 2020 will lead to the creation of an online database of all Australian export wine labels.
Anyone will be able upload an image of any wine label they find and it will be compared to a list of genuine exported Australian wine labels. This will allow you to see if it is the genuine product or whether it may be a copycat label.
Minister Littleproud said the directory, overseen by Wine Australia, will further build the confidence that discerning international consumers have in Australian wine.
“By stopping copycat brands, consumers can know they are buying a safe, quality and delicious Australian product,” he said.
“Australia has a reputation as a producer of premium wines. It’s important we support an industry that directly employs over 69,000 people to protect its brand, which is one of its most important assets.”
Australian wine exports globally topped 744 million litres, with a value of more than $2.9 billion in 2019.
In Australia the Trade Marks Act 1995 has mechanisms that allow rights holders to take action to prevent the export of infringing or falsely labelled goods. The new Act is intended to make this process easier.
The Australian Grape & Wine association welcomed the news and said it will provide a key step in strengthening protection for Australian wine labels against fraudulent activity.
Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive of Australian Grape & Wine, said the association worked closely with the government to develop this directory to further strengthen Australia’s wine export regulatory system.
“We thank all sides of politics who supported this Bill and recognise the faith they have in helping a strong grape and wine sector deliver jobs, growth and economic prosperity to Australia,” he said.