The bodegas have rejected the Junta’s proposed limitation of their voices on the Consejo Regulador. (see post on 1.10.14) Fedejerez (the association of bodegas) talks of “discrimination” and “inopportune interference” which could spoil good relations in the trade. The institution which would be most affected by the draft proposals, it considers the Junta’s Consejeria de Agricultura proposal as “truly regrettable”.
According to the president of Fedejerez, Evaristo Babe, the Junta’s decision has a problem with the method and another with its background, against both of which they are preparing suitable arguments. The problem with the method is the lack of consultation and official communication with the concerned parties, in this case the various trade organisations, which only heard of the matter barely three days ago when the Consejo sent them a copy.
Although Babe does not think this was done with any malice, he says that the Junta’s clumsy “elephant in a china shop” approach could endanger good relations and certain projects which the trade is working on. As regards the background, he says that excluding 25% of the vineyards from the Consejo represents “unacceptable discrimination”, adding that limiting thus the bodegas’ representation would clash with the democratic workings and representation of economic and trade interests. It is thus “a grave distortion of the normal workings which, legally, could open up a front, and we will take the necessary steps”.
|Beltran Domecq (l) and Evaristo Babe (foto Diario Jerez)|
While for the bodegas, the change in the order of elections is of capital importance, the growers’ organisations are reacting more calmly as they have long thought the bodegas should only be represented either as bodegas or as growers, giving more equality at the plenary meetings.
Cristobal Cantos, secretary general of Asaja-Cadiz, which represents the interests of the independent growers of Asevi, holds that real equality among the various groups in the sector is “fundamental” and is conscious of the fact that relations have “advanced substantially” leading to “balance and a lack of tensions in the present legislature”. Cantos attributes this to the “magnificent management” of the Consejo president, Beltran Domecq, whom he considers the principal guarantor of parity, though this wouldn’t have existed among the voices had it not been for the intervention of public administration.
The proposed order will not directly affect the cooperatives of Aecovi, according to whose manager, Carmen Romero, it is a coherent and courageous rule and could be good for the working of the plenary. With better representation in the Consejo, the spirit of the trade should be to look for consensus and dialogue, and not impose one’s will because one has a majority. Recent elections were contentious, where the vote was weighted towards the vineyards giving the bodegas more power in terms of land held rather than number of owners. Let’s hope the new elections will run smoothly.