Apostle Whey Cheese owners Julian and Dianne Benson say their recent wins at the International Cheese and Dairy Awards proves Australian products are just as good as European ones.
The couple are toasting their success on the world stage after their brie, which was named the best in Australia in February, had now won gold at the prestigious cheese show in Nantwich, England.
Julian said the success of their Southern Briez was significant, but he was also pretty rapt that their Bolte's Bonanza blue cheese had won a silver medal.
"It's my personal favourite and it's one of our best sellers - so is our brie for that matter. For them both to pick up awards at our first international awards is a real thrill," he said.
"I didn't think we'd done any good, because the judging took place back in July - then the next thing I know I got the mail and we had two awards inside.
"I think two essential things is hygiene in the factory but also the raw product we use which is from my son and his wife who run the farm, they've always been up there and been in the top spots for milk quality.
"Milk quality, hygiene, good processes all come together to make a good product."
Mr Benson said the win is timely, coming as the Australian Government recently published the list of geographical indications up for negotiation and called for public consultation submissions on the EU-Australia FTA.
"With all the fuss with naming rights and the rest of it in Europe, it really just shows that Australian produce is just as good as what they've got overseas," he said.
"I think with all this GI malarkey going on where Europe is trying to ban us from using words like brie, feta and camembert, that it's great to go over there and show them that Australian cheese is just as good as theirs.
"If we're selling brie and camembert in Europe it's not going to be named after companies there, it's going to be named after companies here. So what's the big deal?
It really just shows that Australian produce is just as good as what they've got overseas.Julian Benson
"We're really quite proud to know that what we produce here is just as good as the heavily subsidised EU products coming into Australia.
"It's a sticky situation, it's hard to see how it will pan out. You want good stuff? Buy Aussie."
The EU Ambassador to Australia, Michael Pulch, welcomed the list's publication and looked forward to analysing the results of the public consultation.
"The Government's move to publish the list is an important step in improving greater access for Australian exporters to one of the world's largest economies," Ambassador Pulch said.
"The publication clears the way for the EU to put the finishing touches on the first market access offer in order for an exchange with Australia well before the fifth round of negotiations in Canberra in October."
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