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€ 510-million For Work On The Vineyards

  • November 7th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

grapes.jpgMore money is to go to help European producers rebuild their vineyards for competition against “New World” producers like the Australians.

The decision at Brussels coincides with a lift in Australian wine exports led by increased sales in the United Kingdom.

Wine producing EU countries are to get bumped-up assistance in step with the new European line on making and marketing the esteemed product.

The European Commission has approved spending of € 510-million (A$797-million; dcerates.com. 7.11.07) in 2007-08, to wine producing Member States for the restructuring and conversion of vineyards, part of a broad-scale “adaptation of production to market demand”.

It covers conversion of vineyards from one grape variety to another, relocation of vineyards and improvements to farm management techniques.

It is a change program that does not cover normal renewal of vineyards at the end of their natural life.

Since 1999, when financial support for restructuring and conversion was introduced, €3-billion (A$4.68-billion) has been allocated.

Mariann Fischer Boel, the EU Agriculture Commissioner said the program had been playing a “useful rule” but clearly more was needed.

“Improving the quality of the wine we produce is a top priority if we are to fend off the challenge posed by New World wine producers …That is why a profound reform of the Common Market Organisation for wine is necessary …”, she said at Brussels.

Changes in the European Council Regulation covering the common wine market are being put to Agriculture Ministers in December.

Plans have ranged from grubbing out unprofitable vineyards to adopting a “New World” marketing approach, through lifting strictures against production and labelling according to grape variety.

IN AUSTRALIA, the Wine and Brandy Corporation has produced figures (7.11.07) showing the level of exports at A$3.04-billion for the year to October, sustained by record annual sales in Britain.

It’s Australia’s chief market for wine, ahead of the United States, Canada and New Zealand.

Previously: See, EUAustralia Online: “July Events” 5.7.07; “Different Signals From The Vineyards And Wineries …” 19.6.07; “Wine Agreement: Regions Listed” 9.6.07; “Australia and Europe Agree …” 7.6.07; “Rear Guard Action On Wine”, 23.2.07; Farm Trade / Wine Trade Archives.

Reference:

EC, “€510 million for restructuring and conversion of vineyards”, 6.11.07, IP/07/1654

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