The Brazilian government has sidestepped a campaign to put quotas on imported wines by striking a deal to give wine more shelf space in the country's supermarkets.
Wines of Brazil: dropped calls for protection
The Brazilian Wine Institute (Wines of Brazil) has dropped calls for greater protection of domestic wines in return for the deal, which it has agreed with wine importers, government and ABRAS, the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets.
Together, the parties are committed to doubling the total consumption of ‘fine wine’ in Brazil over the next four years, to around 40m litres.
‘This is great news,’ Nicolas Ozanam, head of French wine and spirits export body FEVS told Decanter.com.
However, uneven import taxes remain a problem. While the likes of Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne are showing promise in Brazil, wines from Argentina and Chile lead the way due to lower tax on wines from those countries.
‘For European wines, the import tariff is 27%,’ said Ozanam. ‘We hope it will go down, but I wouldn’t bet on it in the near future.’
Bilateral trade talks between the European Union and South American trading bloc Mercosur could lead to a breakthrough, but these have ‘progressed very slowly’, he added.
Still, European wine bodies welcomed the Brazilian government’s decision to reject proposals for tighter import rules.
‘No doubt this is a strong precedent against further protectionist temptations, not only in Brazil, but also in other markets,’ said José Ramón Fernández, secretary of the European Wine Committee (CEEV).
Earlier this month, Brazil also recognised Napa Valley wines as a geographic inidication.
Written by Chris Mercer