The Australian Government will spend $417,000 to establish a wine export label directory in a bid to protect Australian wine brands from copycat and fake labelling. The Wine Australia Amendment (Label Directory) Bill 2019 was passed last week (2 December).

The directory will require Australian wine exporters to submit images of their labels to an online database. The public-facing, searchable directory will allow businesses and exporters to search for products, which may be breaching intellectual property.

Funding to support the directory is sourced from the Export and Regional Wine Support Package.

“Industry asked our government for help in preventing the export of copycat labelled wines through the establishment of a label directory – we have listened, and this legislation is an important step in delivering on that request,” said Minister for Agriculture senator Bridget McKenzie.

“The directory will bring greater transparency of exported labels to prevent copycat export wines from mimicking our famous Australian brands by copying their labels.

“This will help build consumer confidence in overseas markets because people will know they are buying what the label says they are buying – a safe and premium Australian product.”

Wine Australia will be responsible for establishing the directory, which will be built into the upcoming Wine Australia Licensing and Approval System by December 2020.

"Wine Australia is working with Grape & Wine, the representative body for grapegrowers and winemakers, and other stakeholders to develop the label directory in 2019–20, as part of the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package," said to Rachel Triggs, general counsel and general manager, market access, Wine Australia.

Wine Australia issues export approvals for approximately 20,000 products a year and the label directory will be built into the licensing and approval system, adding a new layer to the export approval process.

In May, Wine Australia reported the total value of Australian exports was worth $2.78 billion.

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