Bernard Farges is since Thursday 14 January the new President of EFOW (www.efow.eu), the European Federation of Origin Wines. He succeeds Riccardo Ricci Curbastro, after two successful mandates. Let’s recall that EFOW has been at the forefront of two major battles for the future of our appellations: maintaining a regulatory instrument for vine plantings and the protection of wine names in the framework of the .WINE and .VIN.
Winegrower with his brother in Mauriac Gironde, Bernard Farges is the former President of the Syndicat des appellations Bordeaux et Bordeaux supérieur and the current President of the CNAOC (National Confederation of PDO wines and spirits producers – member of EFOW) and of the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux.
As his predecessor, Bernard Farges Presidency will focus on the enhancement of European quality wines within the EU and in trade negotiations. “I want to first of all acknowledge the excellent work and constant commitment Ricci Curbastro has shown these past years on issues that matter greatly to us all. We must pursue his work. It is essential that the EU institutions continue to focus on quality and on Geographical Indications (GIs). They are a real added value for the European economy. It is a living heritage which must be promoted and kept alive” he stated.
He also recalled that the sector faces several challenges. “The Commission has negotiated a number of ambitious agreements for GIs and it should continue to show that the GI model it has created is beneficial for communities and consumers all over the world. Agreements such as the TTIP and the EU-Japan FTA will certainly give the Commission a hard time in that regard but the EU cannot limit itself to tariffs elimination. Trade is also about values and the GI system is part of our European ideals. Let’s not forget that the EU wine sector’s competitiveness derives from this specific know-how and qualitative approach”. Mr Farges also stressed the importance of taking into account the digital dimension in trade, as the .WINE and .VIN dossier has clearly showed. “The Internet will probably be our biggest market in the coming years. The EU must seriously commit to a specific GI strategy on the net or we may see the development of counterfeiting and cyber-squatting phenomena. We will be vigilant with regard to the correct implementation of the .WINE and .VIN commercial agreement. We must also promptly undertake a review of the first wave of new generic domain names by ICANN before deciding to launch a new opening cycle “.
At the EU level major projects should also be closely monitored. “EFOW’s members will be first in line to defend quality wines and will be vigilant about the so-called simplification of existing regulations“.
WINES AND GIs IN EUROPE:
- European GIs worldwide sales value amount to €54.3 billion, meaning 5.7% of a European food and industry sector (2010, European Commission)
- The EU wine sector, in the total GIs sales value, has the most important sales value with a market share of 56% (2010, European Commission)
- The value of EU GI products exported to third countries is 11.5 billion euros (2010, European Commission)
- GI European wines account for 51% of the value of European GI products exported to third countries (2010, European Commission)
- The sales value of GI products in Europe increased by 12% between 2005 and 2010 (2010, European Commission)