The decision comes at a time when the wine industry is facing several challenges, including a decrease in wine demand due to the growing popularity of craft beer.
The French government has allocated €200 million (approximately Rs 17.82 billion) to address surplus wine by destroying it, aiming to support struggling wine producers. The wine industry is facing challenges such as reduced demand due to the popularity of craft beer, the aftermath of COVID-19, and overproduction. Major wine-producing regions like Bordeaux and Languedoc are grappling with financial strain due to falling demand and prices below production costs.
Jean-Philippe Granier of the Languedoc Wine Producers’ Association explained, “We’re producing too much, and the sale price is below the production price, so we’re losing money.” Additionally, global energy price increases and geopolitical events have led consumers to cut spending on non-essential goods like wine.
The allocated funds will be used to purchase excess wine stock, with the alcohol from destroyed wine potentially repurposed for products like cleansing items, hand sanitizers, and perfumes. The funding will also support winegrowers in transitioning to alternative products, such as cultivating olives. The initiative aims to prevent price collapses and help winemakers regain sources of income.
However, Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau emphasized the need to adapt to changing consumer preferences and plan for the future. European Commission statistics show a decline in wine consumption: 7% in Italy, 10% in Spain, 15% in France, 22% in Germany, and 34% in Portugal from January to June of this year.