Trade minister Simon Birmingham said future negotiations with the European Union following a push to change the names of some products could open greater "market access" to the continent.
We're sure we can find an outcome for the dairy sector that is a fair one, that helps to ensure our dairy industry can grow into the future, but also gives us market access gains to Europe...Trade minister Simon Birmingham
Mr Birmingham joined fellow Liberal senator Andrew Bragg at Bega Cheese headquarters on Wednesday as part of a three-day, three-state tour of the dairy industry to discuss possible strict changes to products such as feta and gruyere under a proposed free trade deal.
Mr Birmingham said suggested changes to products to allow for EU protections for food and drink brands in its region is similar to negotiations over champagne and what became Australian sparkling wine.
"The Europeans have made these demands for a long time and Australia settled it in relation to the wine industry around 15 years ago, and our wine industry has continued to grow and go strongly since then," Mr Birmingham said.
"We're sure we can find an outcome for the dairy sector that is a fair one, that helps to ensure our dairy industry can grow into the future, but also gives us market access gains to Europe which involves 500 million plus consumers and tight restrictions on Australian access.
"So there's plenty of upside for many of our farmers and businesses if we can get better terms into Europe into the future."
Mr Birmingham said consultations will continue with the industry before ideas such as the use of the term "Australian feta" are eventually put to the negotiating table with the EU.
"First and foremost we're listening to Australian industry and hearing their perspective on how we can get the best possible deal for them," Mr Birmingham said.
"We're seeing and hearing that Bega has had phenomenal growth in recent years. Especially in North Asian markets such as Japan and Korea where they have particular strengths."
"In main the market changes they are seeing is consumers wanting more packaged products that are ready to use, but also big growth in the food services industry, in terms of restaurants and hotels looking to buy bigger pieces for use in their commercial undertakings."
Mr Birmingham said any potential forced name changing of products may affect smaller suppliers more than larger corporations.
"Obviously the greater use that a company may make of certain traditional European terms, then the more issue we may have to talk about with them," he said.
"For obviously the big companies, they're already producing a fairly generic level for much of their product."
Acting Bega Cheese executive chairman Max Roberts said he had a "general" discussion with the minister and Mr Bragg during a meeting and a tour of the factory.
The minister also visited Tilba Real Dairy on Wednesday following a tour of Victoria on Tuesday. He will visit his home state of South Australia on Thursday to discuss the issue with Barossa Valley producers.