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Crisis in viticulture: full cellars, empty coffers

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Around 6,000 winegrowers and winery workers demonstrated in Narbonne on Saturday, 25 November to draw attention to the difficult situation in winegrowing and to demand more state support. According to representatives of trade unions and co-operatives, simple wines are being bought by retail chains at the same prices as 15 years ago, but sold to consumers at a price that has doubled since then. They are demanding a higher share of the margin. In addition, the French retail chains are buying much less wine from within France, but at particularly low prices in other countries. One demonstrating winegrower explained that in Spain, a hectolitre is sold to France for 40 euros, compared to 80 euros from local wineries. The Covid crisis, frost, hail, drought and trade barriers in the USA have led to a structural crisis in French viticulture. Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau has agreed to a meeting with representatives of the winegrowers in the coming days, reported the newspaper L'Indépendant.

At the same time, the French Senate is already discussing a minimum selling price for wine. This should be 3.50 euros per bottle. For the equivalent of the cheapest five litre size available in supermarkets, this would increase the price by 150 percent from the current 9.35 euros to 23.30 euros. This is intended to counteract alcohol abuse and the resulting 49,000 deaths per year. In Scotland, where minimum prices for alcohol have been in force since May 2018, alcohol sales have fallen by three per cent and alcohol-related deaths by 13.4 per cent, according to a study published in "The Lancet".

(al / source: larvf; wine-searcher)

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