A few years ago the French government decided that only foods from specific regions or areas could bear that name, the classic example is Champagne, which is the name that can only be used on sparkling wine from the Champagne region. This has changed labelling worldwide and as an example you cannot buy Australian Champagne anymore.
A similar decision has been made by the French relating to words like “steak”, “burger’ and “sausage”, to name but a few meat related names. So in France it is now illegal to called a vegetarian product with any meat related descriptors. The fine, if you do, is the equivalent of AUD$480,000.
This is going to make it pretty difficult for the vegetarian product industry but it was believed by the French Parliament that these descriptors were resulting in losses to the French meat industry.
In 2017, the European Court of Justice decidied that the dairy industry is the only industry which is permitted to use words like “milk, “cheese”, “cream” and “butter” in Europe. This has sparked a big debate in Australia about the use of the word “milk” with soy, rice and other non dairy products.
Following on from this “what’s in name” philosophy, The Australian Manuka Honey Association (AMHA) has just introduced a guideline to help producers and consumers identify what authentic Australian Manuka honey looks and tastes like.
There has been a lot of debate about the origins of this special honey, some believe it is from New Zealand and others from Australia.
So this Guideline is an important step in helping to work out what is genuine Australian product and what is not. The AMHA is also working on a mark of authenticity for Australian Manuka honey, which will be launched shortly.
AMHA Chairman, Paul Callander, said; “This important milestone was made possible by eminent scientists Dr Peter Brooks, Dr Shona Blair, Dr Nural Coketin and Dr Craig Davis joining our recently established Scientific Advisory Committee.These scientists are experts in the Manuka honey field and have outstanding global reputations. No-one could doubt the credibility of these guidelines, which will now be circulated internationally.”