Australia strengthens consumer protection for wine brands

Through Lisa riley

Posted: July 01, 2021

Australia has launched what it claims to be the first system in the world to provide product insurance for all of its branded wine exports.

As of today, every labeled wine approved for export by Wine Australia will have the label registered in its Online Export Label Image Search System (ELISS), allowing importers, distributors, retailers and consumers to check when, where and who exported wine from Australia.

The new system would protect overseas consumers and the reputation of the Australian wine industry by making it very easy to verify labels against export records, said Rachel Triggs, Wine Australia’s managing director for corporate affairs and regulation. .

“All it will take is a device to capture a digital image and access the ELISS website and suspicious consumers or retailers will be able to compare a bottle label with Australian export records. This is the first time that a country has been able to offer comprehensive verification of exported labels, ”she said.

The ELISS system will also allow searches by brand, keywords or phrases, with brands owners able to research ELISS to identify potential violations of their intellectual property rights.

The launch of the system follows Australian Grape & Wine, Australia’s leading grape and wine advocacy organization, which identified the need to establish a wine export label directory as a key step in strengthening the protection of wine. Australian wine labels against fraudulent activity.

Triggs said the system would make it easy for consumers and distributors to identify authentic Australian wines, with around 25,000 labels a year expected to be listed in 111 different destinations.

“This is something the industry, through Australian Grape & Wine, has been pushing to introduce and ensure the protections are legislated. Wine Australia is now working to make this protection a reality, ”she said.

The searchable images would be low-resolution and watermarked, but they would allow people to establish who exported the wine, when and the destination market, she added.

“The software allows searching using text or images so that potential trademark or copyright infringements can be easily identified. This will discourage the production of copycat brands that seek to capitalize on the well-established reputation of Australian wine brands. ”

The ELISS search system can be accessed here.

The development of the online directory for the public was supported by the Australian Government’s $ 50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Program.

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Jean H. Vannatta