Farming News - EU agriculture meeting could herald reversal of wine reform

EU agriculture meeting could herald reversal of wine reform

25 Jan 2012

European Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos has announced plans to establish a high-level group to discuss reforms in the wine sector. Mr Ciolos made the announcement during last week’s ‘Green Week’ in Berlin. He seemed to confirm suspicions that the group would re-examine the 2008 wine reform, which did away with planting rights.


 wine regulationsThe 2008 reform, which ushered in a liberalisation of planting rights has been heavily criticised by wine MEPs from wine producing states; 13 member states, which between them account for 97 per cent of EU wine production, are seeking to overturn the decision. Traditional wine producers argue that the liberalisation stemming from the 2008 reform could pose a threat to smaller producers and damage the bloc’s reputation for high quality wine production.


Although many key wine producing states want a return to planting rights, the 2008 reforms secured major concessions for UK wine producers; producers in states where production is relatively low, such as the UK, where vintners are mostly small businesses, no longer had to list the vine varieties they used. The legislation also enabled more promotion and support for British wine producers.


Also as part of the session on 23rd January, which looked at reforms of market management tools, agriculture ministers were unable to agree on whether to end the EU’s sugar quota regime, which is due to be phased out from September 2015. Several countries wanted to see an extension of the scheme.