In March 2014, after several months of tensed relationship between the EU and China due to the EU solar panel crisis and the threat of an anti-dumping / anti-subsidies investigation by China on European wines, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between CEEV and its Chinese counterpart CADA, marking the launch of an unprecedented and comprehensive business-to-business cooperation project.
Implemented over a two-year period (2014-2016), the EU-China Wine Cooperation Project aimed at fostering business cooperation between the European and Chinese wine sectors and improving mutual knowledge of each market’s possibilities, through a series of short- to mid-term activities organized either in Europe or in China, thereby laying the foundations for a trustful long-term collaboration between both sectors.
In a nutshell, the EU-China Wine Cooperation Project consisted in a two-way exchange of expertise and best practices between the EU and Chinese wine sectors:
- The EU party provided technical assistance to professionals from Chinese wine companies in areas such as experimental winegrowing, mechanization, winemaking, methods of testing and quality control, marketing approaches, wine tasting, and wine classification and protection systems, through concrete activities such as seminars, collective trainings, study visits and internships in relevant European companies or institutions.
- The Chinese industry, on the other hand, helped the EU professionals organize European wine tastings in China, and improve wine knowledge among Chinese consumers, as well as promote the appreciation of wine and its culture, building on the values of a moderate and responsible consumption.
- Both parties committed to maintaining communication flow and information exchanges, monitor the implementation of the business cooperation, and collaborate at international level on advocacy activities aimed at improving market access conditions.
With CEEV as a figurehead, the European wing of the EU-China Wine Cooperation Project consisted in 14 leading European wine companies and professional organizations from France (FEVS, Moët-Hennessy, Pernod Ricard Winemakers), Italy (Alleanza Cooperative Italiane, Assoenologi, Confagricoltura, Federvini, Unione Italiana Vini), Portugal (ACIBEV, AEVP), Spain (Félix Solís Avantis, González Byass, Raventós-Codorníu, Torres).