Is the wine industry transparent or powerless when faced with Chinese investigations?

Monday October 07 2013 by Kelsie Adams

Following the shock of the ‘voluntary’ registration phase this summer (5,000 records filed, 70% of which were French) the Chinese authorities continue to carry out anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations within the European wine export industry. So far this hasn’t made too much of a splash within the industry, despite four French and two Spanish companies being chosen for investigation*. However, anger is rife at the heart of the wine industry, which is struggling to accept the outcome of Sino-European talks about solar panels. If the commercial disagreement within the solar power industry sparked the investigation procedure (which has been dormant for years) the resolution of the disagreement has not put an end to the investigations.

This is to the great disappointment of Jean-Louis Salies (president of the National Interprofessional Committee of Wines with Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indicators, CNIV) : « it is as if we had been transparent. It’s a real shame, but this is the impression that we have been given by the whole of the political class in relation to the Chinese affair ». In his most recent newsletter, he highlighted that « our wines may not be as high tech as Ariane’s rocket and we are, without doubt, less glamourous than film stars, but we do not need to be embarassed about the quality of our products and their world standing ».

The president of the Bordeaux Wine Board and the National Confederation of Producers of Wines with Appellations of Origin, Bernard Farges, has also expressed his regrets about « the way that this crisis has been handled by the French authorities ». He is conscious of « the urgent need to close this case before our competitors rush into the gap that has been opened by our negligence ».

 

*In order to help those companies that are under investigation (who have 37 days to turn in a completed case), the CNIV has enlisted a leading French law firm, Gide, to help manage the questionnaires. 

 

[Photo of Jean-Louis Salies : Vitisphere]

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