Think tank

Ministries guide talks between French and Spanish wine industries

Mercredi 09 août 2017 par Vitisphere

Ministries guide talks between French and Spanish wine industries
French Agriculture Minister Stéphane Travert and his Spanish counterpart Isabel Garcia Tejerina chaired the first joint Franco-Spanish committee for the wine industry at the end of July.

The groundwork for the meeting had been previously laid by both countries’ wine industries in Madrid on May 24. Its purpose was to lay the foundations of a forum for discussion between the two, after several episodes in 2016 and 2017 where tanks containing Spanish wines in Languedoc were emptied. The working party, which views itself as a think tank, aims to “establish a basis for a shared economic vision of the Franco-Spanish wine industry”, said the French Agriculture Ministry in a statement.

It was important to resume talks and approach every aspect of a situation involving our entry level and PGI wines that has upset us since 2015”, said a delighted Jérôme Despey, chairman of the wine committee at FranceAgriMer. “Our Spanish counterparts have also realised that 35 euros per hectolitre for wines without a geographical indication was not a profitable or decent price and was not viable,” stressed the Languedoc wine grower.

Competitiveness and regulations

The next joint committee meeting is scheduled for June 2018 in Madrid. Between now and then, its participants will have time to set up two working parties. The first is designed to tackle “competitiveness and economic aspects of the industry in order to anticipate possible market difficulties” before the end of the year. The topic is of paramount importance as both industries are interwoven. France is the leading importer of Spanish bulk wines, buying 7.5 million hectolitres in 2016. Initial data for 2017 suggest that volume imports will drop, probably to below 7 million hl.

At the start of 2018, the second working party will examine “regulatory aspects, aimed at establishing a strong Franco-Spanish position on issues involving European and international policies”.

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