22 November 2017, Brussels.
At the first congress of the European Federation of Origin Wines, EFOW (www.efow.eu) held in Brussels today, participants reflected on the performance of the European wine sector and in particular of Geographical Indication (GI) wines over the last decade. The well-timed debate aimed at contributing to the evaluation of the CAP measures applicable to the wine sector that was launched on 9 November by the European Commission. It provided a globally positive assessment of the EU wine policy instruments and considered the changes needed to reinforce the economic performance of the sector.
ISMEA, the Italian Institute of Agricultural Markets, presented a study on the EU wine sector. It shows that the sector has been enjoying a period of continuous growth and created a strong added value. The study provides evidence that in comparison to other agricultural sectors, the EU wine sector – in particular GI wines – has performed better in recent years including during the economic crisis. This can be explained by a mix of quality and tradition represented by the terroir, the ongoing innovations of Europe’s wine-makers and targeted EU wine policies that offer a positive framework to grow.
EFOW’s President, Mr. Bernard Farges, expressed his enthusiasm: “European GI wines are stronger than ever. We are united in our diversity and have great stories to tell. Overall, the EU wine sector – in particular GI wines – is in good health today. However, we must be vigilant as we have seen that recent and sometimes recurrent extreme weather events have badly affected some of our wine regions. Bearing this in mind, we need to continue to focus on quality wines and to improve our competitiveness to preserve our unique positioning on the market.”
EFOW’s congress provided an excellent opportunity for a first exchange of views on how the CAP policy instruments applicable to the wine sector are performing and what changes are needed to help the sector overcome the challenges it is facing. French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish GI wine producers raised questions relating to the production potential, the environment and the impact of climate change, the quality wine policy and the uncertainties with regard to trade. They underlined the importance of the EU’s legal, technical and political support.
“The discussion we had today with wine growers, wine lovers and decision-makers, shows that the EU wine policy plays a vital role in the development of our sector. We benefit from specific tools in the current CAP which have been instrumental to the positive evolution of the wine sector. They must be maintained and improved to allow for the success story to continue” concluded Bernard Farges.