The European Commission has implemented exceptional measures to rectify the current imbalances in the wine market in various regions of the European Union. As part of national wine support programmes, Member States will have the option to include crisis distillation to remove surplus wine from the market. Thanks to the decision taken at the end of June, until October 15, 2023 it will be possible to distill the wine most affected by the market crisis. The distilled wine will be withdrawn from the market and the alcohol obtained may only be used for non-food purposes, in order to avoid market distortions.
Flexibility has also been granted in the implementation of wine support programmes, allowing more flexibility for the green harvest this summer and increasing the EU co-financing rate for measures related to restructuring, green harvest, promotion and investments. This will allow Member States to better adapt their measures to the situation on the wine market in the current year and to make better use of the green harvest to prevent or reduce potential wine surpluses for the coming year.
The wine sector is feeling the effects of reduced consumption due to current inflation in the prices of food and beverage products which, combined with a good harvest in 2022 and the consequences of market difficulties during the pandemic, has led to to a buildup of inventories. This market context results in marketing difficulties for EU winegrowers and producers, in a fall in market prices and, consequently, in a serious loss of income, especially in some of the regions most affected by these trends.
The measures adopted by the Commission, after having been approved by the Member States during a meeting of the Committee for the Common Organization of the Agricultural Markets, will help the sector to remedy the current imbalances.