France decides to finance distillation to reduce volumes

Tuesday June 02 2020 by Vitisphere

Although the government has outlined proposals, it has not yet reached a firm decision on its aid plan for the wine industry.Although the government has outlined proposals, it has not yet reached a firm decision on its aid plan for the wine industry. - Photo credit : Ministère de l'Agriculture

The French government aid plan for the wine industry, which was revealed at a meeting attended by several ministers on May 29, is to introduce a ‘toolkit’ to help revitalise the sector, though failed to lift uncertainties regarding funding three months into the coronavirus crisis. Didier Guillaume, Minister of Agriculture, Bruno Le Maire, Economy Minister and Olivier Dussopt, Secretary of State for Finance, presented a hard-hitting rescue plan revolving around exemptions from national insurance contributions, crisis distillation and private storage aid.

The government indicated that the wine industry would be included in the general system of exemptions from employers' and social security contributions (AMEXA), but did not specify the terms of access and the rates of exemption. Regarding management of surplus volumes, the ministers presented an overall budget of 170 million euros. Top of the agenda, with funding of €155 million is crisis distillation, €10 million in aid for distillers and €145 million for producers. The amount paid for wines with a protected designation and geographical indication (PDO and PGI) will be €78/hectolitre, dropping to €58/hl for wines without a geographical indication. The second aspect of the plan is private storage aid amounting to €15 million, the funding the industry had asked for so that it would have another tool for managing surpluses, aside from simply distilling wines which has sparked opposition and incomprehension in certain regions, particularly Champagne and the Loire. As regards actual contracts (duration, volumes, etc.), the terms of the system will have to be defined in conjunction with FranceAgriMer before July.




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