The Assembly of European Wine Regions (AREV) puts its hope in the message of support for the sector that the Spanish Minister of Agriculture will launch this Monday to the ministers of the member states

Since the pandemic began a year ago, the wine sector has been facing a period of great difficulties, in which, in addition to the market situation and trade relations with the USA, a new campaign slightly higher than the previous one, and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the collapse of the HORECA channel, tourism, and restrictions on mobility have been joined.

Given the evident insufficiency of the exceptional support measures for the wine sector, applied during 2020 to temporarily alleviate the market situation in the worst months of the summer and extended until October 2021, the need for an extraordinary, additional budget for the wine sector, demanded by professionals, is gaining strength and support among political representatives.

This Monday, 22 March, it will be the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas Puchades, who will report on this imperative need to the highest policy-makers of the member states in the field of agriculture present at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council. The Assembly of European Wine Regions (AREV), through its president, Emiliano García-Page Sánchez, has expressed to the Spanish Minister its full support for this action.

This request comes barely a year after the AREV had already warned of the consequences that the pandemic would have on the wine sector, and which, in June 2020, it sent to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Janusz Wojciechowski, in the form of a request for an additional extraordinary budget allocation, like the one made in sectors such as meat or dairy, and of a suggestion of creating a High-Level Group, necessary to reactivate the sector and ensure the sustainable development of the wine-growing regions.

The wine sector has a strong link of identity with European territories and deserves a real recovery plan as a matter of urgency, which can boost the dual performance – both economic and environmental – that will enable it, in turn, to develop the challenges that lie ahead, and it should not be overlooked that European wine-growing regions account for around 43 % of the world’s wine-growing area, 60% of the world’s wine production and around 53% of the world’s wine consumption, and the impact that the policies adopted in this sector may have, in one direction or another, on the 1.8 million holdings and 3.2 million hectares of vineyards that are part of Europe’s countryside, landscape and culture.

AREV is confident that the meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council within the EU will be fruitful and that the request for an extraordinary budget, so necessary for the wine sector, made to the Agriculture and Fisheries Council under the Portuguese presidency, will obtain the necessary support for its protection.