Tuesday, 2 April 2013

2.4.13 Important Meeting Today in Jerez

The agriculture minister of the Junta de Andalucia, Luis Planas, is today paying his first official visit to the Consejo Regulador in Jerez, where he will meet Consejo officials as well as representatives of the various parts of the trade. He will gain first-hand information on the current situation and the trade’s preoccupations, one of the biggest of which is their request for a change to the rules on minimum stocks required to sell wine on the open market.

The three year transition period for the adoption of the new Reglamento (Rules for Sherry production) which sets a minimum of 500 butts of stock, expires on the 29th May. If this is not modified, it will make life very difficult for the small bodegas, especially those who have recently incorporated with the Consejo Regulador, and who are not selling large volumes, concentrating instead on quality. If the minimum stock situation is not reduced to 50 butts, many will be forced to leave the Consejo. The 500 butt minimum was set for fear of new businesses speculating, but has proved to be excessive. It is hoped the modification can be achieved before the new Reglamento is set in stone by Brussels.

Separately, officials at the Consejo will be asking for increased funding for the promotion of the wines, specifically to the same level as the bodegas are increasing their contribution. Currently, they are paying 1 centimo per litre of wine commercialised which gives a figure of 425,000 euros. Along with contributions from ICEX and Extenda, the promotional pot will reach somewhere between 650,000 and 700,000 euros. Not a lot.

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