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Agriculture: New Subsidies Round for Vineyards to Meet “New World” Challenge

  • October 21st, 2006
  • Posted by 7thmin

wine-pic-10.jpgThe wine industry in the European Union will receive up to EU450-million (A$750-million) in the coming year, for restructuring and conversion of vineyards – to improve market-appeal of the product.

After a decision on the figure by the European Commission (19.10.06), the Agriculture Commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel, said: “Improving the quality of the wine we produce is a top priority if we are to fend off the challenge posted by New World wine producers.”

She disclosed the new available budget would flow on from subsidies already totaling EU 2.596-billion (A$ 4.326-billion) over the last six years, and there would also be a review of the operations of the policy framework, the EU’s Common Market Organisation (CMO) for wine.

“This restructuring program has played a useful role since 1999, but it is clear that more in needed,” she said.

Mrs Fischer Boel scheduled a promotional follow-up to confirming the money:- a visit to the Moselle region, in Germany (week beginning 23.10.06), to call on a vineyard and have talks about the Common Marketing system with local parliamentarians, wine growers and industry leaders.

Background provided by the Commissioner:

Under the Council Regulation on the common organisation of the market in wine from 1999, Member States can obtain annual payments for restructuring and conversion of a set number of hectares of vineyards. The objective of this system is the adaptation of production to market demand. It covers the following measures: Varietal conversion, relocation of vineyards and improvements to vineyard management techniques. The system does not cover the normal renewal of vineyards which have come to the end of their natural life.

The Commission grants the subsidies in line with each Member State’s share of the total EU area under vines and objective criteria accommodating particular situations and needs.

As well as the new allocation of available funds, after receiving returns from EU Member States on actual spending, the EC has also confirmed payments for the last year – totaling EU 448.869 ($A 748.115-million).
It has detailed allocations for the fourteen wine producing countries of the EU, headed by Spain EU 158.047-million (A$261.411-million), France EU 108.193 (A$180.321-million), Italy EU 96.673-million (A$161-121-million), and Portugal EU 44.412-million (A$74.02-million).

Council regulation on Wine: Regulation 1493/1999 of 17 May 1999 (Official Journal L179 of 14.7.1999) – Chapter 3, articles 11 to 14 … IP/06/1436.19/10/06