A ROW has broken out over a decision by Dairy Australia to ditch its long-running Dairy Good trademark.
The familiar logo, with a stylised kangaroo as a background, has adorned Australian dairy products in the domestic and international markets since the late 1980s, when it was introduced by Dairy Australia’s predecessor, the Australian Dairy Council.
Processors received a letter from Dairy Australia managing director Ian Halliday last week telling them that all licences to use the logo will cease within six months and that they must stop using it within that time.
Charles McElhone, Dairy Australia’s general manager of trade and industry strategy, said factors behind the decision were low take-up by manufacturers, low recognition by the public and risk of counterfeiting in overseas markets, particularly China.
The decision has not gone down well with independent processor United Dairy Power (UDP).
General manager Darryl Cardona said alternative trademarks such as Australian Made and AusBuy cost between $20,000 and $50,000 a year to use, while the Dairy Good logo costs nothing.
It would also cost about $1000 to change the packaging on each of the company’s products.
“I want to see it retained for use in the Australian market.
‘‘I have no problem with what they do overseas,” Mr Cardona said.
“I think it’s a silly thing to delete it from the Australian market.”
UDP uses the logo on its South Australian made cheese products.
Mr Cardona has written to Dairy Australia asking for the decision to be reversed for the domestic market.
If the request is denied he has offered to take over the logo and manage its use by other manufacturers.
“We could actively manage the logo, use it on locally manufactured products and licence it out to other smaller and boutique manufacturers,” Mr Cardona said yesterday.
“I have requested that they transfer the logo to UDP on the understanding that UDP can only charge for the annual renewal costs.”
Mr Cardona said it would cost United Dairy Power less than $1000 annually to licence all forms of the logo.
Mr McElhone said counterfeiting was Dairy Australia’s major concern.
“Dairy Australia is not in a position to fully manage the trademark — to audit, monitor and verify its use,” Mr McElhone said.
“The market has changed massively since the logo was introduced and this is a risk that has emerged.”
He said counterfeiting posed a risk to Australia’s reputation should the logo be illegally used on overseas produce that turned out to be contaminated.
Mr McElhone said Dairy Australia was looking at piggy-backing on established Australian identifiers that are fully audited, such as Australian Made.