"Preserving the future of wine in France" by reconquering the younger generations and exports: this is the objective of nine professional organizations* who call Thursday for a "new deal" for the sector, shaken by cascading difficulties.
Wine consumption has already fallen by around 70% in 60 years in the country and "new projections made at the request of the sector raise fears of a 20% contraction of the wine market over the next 10 years, with formidable social consequences", explain the organisations in a press release.
Subsidies are no longer enough
At the same time, winegrowers have faced several setbacks in recent years, whether it be the vagaries of the weather, the rise in their production costs or inflation cutting into household budgets.
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Several forms of aid have been put in place by the public authorities to help them overcome the economic difficulties. But the sector has also "taken the historic initiative of coming together around a strategic transformation plan," the organizations say.
The reaction must be "coordinated", the sector must "be able to be more agile and conquering and be able to adapt its product offer to the changing expectations of different consumers and markets". Among the avenues explored are the establishment of observatories of market trends and the revitalization of innovation.
New containers, lighter wines
The aim is "to help reconnect the sector to consumers who have turned away from wine (especially the younger generations), by working in particular on adapting products to new expectations, new practices and new tastes" with, for example, lighter alcohol wines or new containers.
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The sector also wants to boost exports "at a time when French wines are facing strong competition on foreign markets". The organisations would also like wine stakeholders to value "the societal and environmental contributions of the sector". Organic wines are becoming more and more popular with the French.
* The nine organisations participating in this strategy are the National Committee of Interprofessional Associations for Wines with Designation of Origin and Geographical Indication, the Union of Wine Houses and Brands, the National Confederation of Producers of Wines and Wine Spirits with Controlled Designations of Origin, the Confederation of IGP Wines of France, the Coopération Agricole - Vignerons Cooperators, the Independent Winegrowers of France, Vin et Société as well as the Young Farmers and FNSEA agricultural unions.