Wine is the first EU agri-foodstuff in terms of exports, accounting for € 12.1 billion in 2019. It results from the efforts made by wine companies to meet the consumers’ demand worldwide combined with a trade policy that has opened markets and removed barriers for them. EU wines are entirely sourced and produced locally but increasingly consumed outside the EU borders.
We call the Commission to ensure that the trade policy delivers benefits for this strategic sector as a way to fuel economic growth and to support jobs for SMEs in rural areas. Given the value of the sector and the rise of technical barriers to wine trade, we also urge the EU to explore the possibility of sectorial technical agreements with our main trade partners to address specific concerns. Finally, a key component of the trade strategy must be the quick ending of unrelated trade disputes, also as a way to enhance the trust of the business community and citizens in the multilateral system and the EU trade policy.
OUR KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
1 – TO IMPROVE THE WINE SECTOR’s RESILIENCE
- Accelerate or initiate bilateral agreements with key partner countries to ensure a level-playing field with our main competitors. Our priority markets are US, UK, China, ASEAN economies, Russia and India.
- Promote sectorial deals on wine with key trade partners to solve specific concerns and trade barriers, in within or in parallel to broader agreements.
- Solve swiftly the WTO trade dispute on aircrafts which is heavily penalizing the EU wine industry. Preserve the wine sector from unrelated retaliatory measures in future.
- Ensure the effective implementation and enforcement of agreements so that they deliver the promised benefits for EU companies, employees and citizens.
- Effectively use trade dispute mechanisms, whether bilateral or multilateral.
- Keep the protection of Geographical Indications and the fight against their misuse very high in the EU trade agenda. The existing 1 612 EU wine PDOs-PGIs account for 90% of EU wine exports.
- Enhance the CMO promotion tools for wines, which have proved efficient and decisive in helping wine companies to find new export markets or to increase their presence in markets already open.
- Firmly reject any protectionist attempt by third countries to restrict the access to their markets to EU wines under spurious health, social or religious pretexts.
2 – TO SUPPORT WINE SMEs
- Place SME-intensive sectors at the heart of bilateral and multilateral negotiations.
- Cut the red-tape and costs related to import and customs procedures in third countries, they are the first non-tariff barrier for wine exporting SMEs.
- Remove swiftly the increasing number of technical barriers to wine trade, as they push SMEs away from markets.
- Ensure regular and systemic dialogue with the wine industry all along the conception, negotiation and implementation of trade agreements.
3 – TO STRENGHTEN THE MULTILATERAL TRADE FRAMEWORK
- Keep active engagement to modernize and enhance the role of the WTO.
- Honour WTO rules and principles.
- Comply with WTO rulings.
- Promote the international standards set up by relevant international bodies such as Codex Alimentarius and the International Organisation for Vine and Wine (OIV), including through bilateral agreements.
4 – TO FACILITATE THE TRANSITION TOWARDS A GREENER ECONOMY
- Speed up the upcoming organic equivalence agreements with third countries to promote exports of EU organic wines.
5 – TO SUPPORT THE DIGITAL TRANSITION
- Accelerate the dematerialization of import procedures.
- Support e-labels to reduce the logistics arrangements of wine companies exporting worldwide.
- Support wine companies’ efforts to access new markets and consumers through e-commerce.
FACTS & FIGURES
Trade is the key driver for the EU wine sector’s growth:
- 40% of EU wine is consumed outside Europe
- EU wine exports have increased by 80% in the last ten years (2010-2019).
- Wine is the most exported EU foodstuff, accounting for:
- 8.3% of total EU agricultural exports.
- € 12.1 billion in exports value in 2019.
- 20% of the EU agri-food trade balance surplus.
- There are 1 612 wine PDOs and PGIs which represent 90% in value and 67% in volume of EU wine exports.