Greek Yogurt Exports to Australia Face Serious Obstacles

Greek exports of yogurt products to Australia in the 2010-2018 period were extremely limited after Greece was included, in 2015 on the list of countries with cases of lumpy skin disease in cattle, according to a Gaia365.gr, repost.

The list was issued by the Australian Ministry of Agriculture, which resulted in the ban on Greek yogurt and dairy imports other than pasteurized cheese and butter.

According to a written statement from the Australian Ministry of Agriculture, the importation of yogurt from Greece to Australia continues to be banned because Greece is not yet recognized by Australia as an area free of lumpy skin disease in cattle and goats as well as sheep pox.

It should be noted that the import of cheese and butter from Greece is allowed. In addition, other products with dairy ingredients comprising less than 10 percent of their volume may be imported if the dairy ingredients have been pasteurized or processed.

Imports of sheep and goat dairy products (including yogurt) from Greece to Australia will be possible when the Australian authority recognizes Greece as a country free of lumpy skin disease and pox.

Another major obstacle for the exportation of Greek yogurt to Australia is the long distances, which increases shipping costs, while complex health checks cause delays that can significantly shorten the shelf life of the product.

According to Australian importers, a significant obstacle to imports of dairy products is the length of time the products remain in quarantine, which is mandatory on all shipments of food products at the first entry point, while there are random health checks on shipments.

The duration of quarantine can be two to three weeks, greatly reducing the time the product is placed on the market. In the case of yogurt, this delay is crucial given the shorter shelf life of this product than other dairy products.

Another major challenge for Greek producers is its strong domestic dairy production, which covers the domestic market and generates a surplus which is exported to the international market.

Furthermore, Australian dairy producers make their own so-called “Greek yogurt,”marketing it in blue and white packaging and supplying the market with the product that is very much in demand, despite the fact that it is not authentic.