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CEEV puts together “wine package” to mitigate Covid-19 effects on EU industry

Published:  20 April, 2020

The Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV) has put together a Covid-19 ‘wine package’ in order to mitigate the devastating effects of the pandemic – present and future – on the wine sector.

The ‘wine package’, which is set to be shared with European and national authorities, suggests both emergency and recovery measures. 

“Emergency measures should focus on the preservation of wine companies and their finances, while recovery measures should focus on rebuilding wine markets and regaining market shares globally,” said Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, Secretary General of CEEV

As a first measure, it was "critical that the Commission authorises to ‘freeze’ economic resources not used under the wine National Support Programmes for the financial year 2019/20 in order to keep them available for member states until the financial year 2022/23 to help the sector recover”, he added. 

To support the recovery of wine markets, the CEEV is asking for further flexibility for promotion programmes, a temporary reduced VAT for wine products and the adoption of "a modern framework for distance selling", he said, adding that to "revitalise the sector, legal adaptations are needed to dynamise the aromatised wine products category and the creation of the non-alcohol and low alcohol wine categories”.

“It is critical that the wine sector recovers on export markets. For this, a quick resolution of the commercial dispute with the USA is needed as well as further efforts to gain access to other markets.”

With the on-trade closed almost everywhere, CEEV estimated that 30% (volume) and 50% (value) of the EU wine market is currently locked. In addition, and after some signs of stockpiling early March, it said sales also went down again in supermarkets at the end of the month “reinforcing the negative trend of the wine market", said Jean-Marie Barillère, president of CEEV.

“Considering the partial dismantling of the on-trade, the impact on tourism and the possible collapse of some wine importers and distributors, we should all understand that what we are facing is no short-term crisis. It will take time and require investments to recover wine markets.”   

Founded in 1960, CEEV is the representative professional body of the EU industry and trade in wines.