The French Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, Marc Fesneau, recently discussed crisis management measures for the vitivinicultural sector during his visit to Hérault. The European Commission has approved a regulation allowing crisis distillation support for the 2023 campaign to stabilize the market for red and rosé wines.
Ministerial Visit to Hérault
On August 25, Marc Fesneau, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, visited the distillery in Olonzac, Hérault, to engage with key players in the vitivinicultural sector. The visit aimed to discuss deploying crisis management measures permitted under the Common Organisation of the Markets (COM) in the vitivinicultural sector.
European Regulation for Crisis Support
Following discussions with the European Commission, a European regulation was published on June 26, authorizing and outlining aid for crisis distillation for the 2023 campaign. This move aims to support the industry in coping with market disruptions, particularly concerning red and rosé wines across three segments: Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), and wines without geographical indication from other viticultural basins except Rhône-Provence and Centre Val de Loire.
Initial Funding and Response
The French government, through FranceAgriMer, initiated the first wave of crisis distillation this summer with an initial budget of €160 million, targeting a maximum forecasted need of 3 million hectoliters (MhL). However, the response to the call for subscriptions exceeded expectations, reaching over 4.4 MhL.
Additional Funding from the EU Crisis Reserve
Acknowledging the actual need to supplement the initially announced budget, Minister Fesneau decided to mobilize the European Union’s “crisis reserve” to augment this distillation operation, raising the maximum budget to €200 million. France will formally notify the European Commission of this decision, reaffirming the government’s commitment to its pledges.
Long-term Strategic Plan
Beyond immediate crisis support, the French government is also assisting the wine industry in developing its long-term strategic plan. This includes necessary adaptations to climate change and evolving domestic and export market demands.
In collaboration with the European Commission, the French government’s proactive measures aim to provide much-needed support to the vitivinicultural sector, which is a significant part of the French economy. These steps address immediate concerns and pave the way for a sustainable future for the industry.