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Delhi Wine Club
French Minister criticizes EU planting policy

Posted: Wednesday, 22 June 2011 10:28

French Minister criticizes EU planting policy

June 22: French Minister for Agriculture, Bruno Le Maire has openly criticised the announced policy of the European Union to relax grape planting regulations which will fall in place by 2015, allowing increased production across all EU countries. This may threaten the ability of European producers to compete in the global wine market.

Le Maire made the controversial remarks at the official opening speech on Sunday at Vinexpo being held from June 19-23 in Bordeaux. He reasoned that the over-production resulting from decentralisation of planting rights would result in a grape glut and a price collapse. He also stressed that this step would undermine efforts to preserve regional character in wines.

“I am against this liberalisation. It will not help European and French wine growers to achieve their aim of competing on a world scale with wines of the highest quality. We need a proper grape planting policy for Europe,” he reportedly said. He claimed to have already discussed the problem with Italy, Spain, Germany and Hungary who were willing to support the French plan to oppose the move.

Since 1976, it has been illegal for EU member producers to plant new vines and it is a subject matter requiring special approval from the individual governments. Under the liberalized  plan to come in force by 2015, this will change to a market-based system where  producers may buy and sell rights to plantation, thus  allowing more successful ones  greater freedom to expand.

However, trade bodies and some governments are concerned about this unrestricted planting. They feel that overproduction was the main reason for introducing the current system in the 1970s in the first place.

The minister also emphasised the need for European winemakers to focus on producing high quality wines with strong individual character if they wished to compete effectively with emerging rivals such as Argentina. Le Maire also used the occasion to speak up against plans to merge the AOC and IGP classifications. ‘It will undermine all our efforts to improve the offer of European wines,’ he said.

He welcomed the news that France had regained its position as the world’s top wine exporting nation by value even as he cautioned against the strong export promotion campaigns from Italy and Spain. He particularly appreciated French efforts to capitalise on the perceived quality of French wines in China, presumably due to the Classified Growths of Bordeaux, as he talked about the recently reported deal by Castel to supply 30 million bottles a year to that country.

Speaking on the occasion Robert Beynat, CEO of Vinexpo, however warned the global wine industry not to get too taken in by the potential hype of China. Although it still represented one of the key growth markets, it was not the golden ticket that many have been lead to believe. He hoped that the 5-day event would attract 50,000 people as they had anticipated. Vinexpo has attracted  2400 exhibitors from 47 countries.



Rose Says:

Hekvcua good job. I sure appreciate it.

Posted @ August 01, 2011 12:30


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