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Argentina launches ‘Strategy 2020’

Argentina has developed its own version of Strategy 2025 – the industry masterplan that saw Australia catapulted into one of the world’s most powerful wine-producing forces.

The Strategic Plan for Viticulture is to reach a turnover of US$2,000m and increase exports to 10% of the world market by the year 2020. National and local government, wineries, growers, universities, and national agencies like the National Institute of Viticulture, the National Institute of Agriculture Technology, and the Argentine Association of Viticulture are all contributing to the plan.

Flavio Senetiner, director of Viniterra Winery in Mendoza, welcomed the initiative. ‘We did not have a marketing plan. We realized that our activities were in need of some ideas and proposals which would enable us to develop and achieve long-term goals,’ he said.

The Strategic Plan will be financed through special taxes levied on the whole of the viticultural community.

This coming harvest a tax of between US$0.0014 and US$0.0023 per litre will be imposed on finished wines, concentrate must, and grapes coming into wineries. Funds will be made available for market research, promotion, advertising, trade shows, special courses and seminars, technical assistance and activities to encourage dialogue between wineries and growers.

‘The idea is to provide both winemakers and growers with an excellent tool to access marketing channels and new technology, as well as managing different resources which will help them support such activities,’ said Sergio Villanueva, president of the Argentine Association of Viticulture.

Angel Vespa , president of the Argentine Wineries Association, said this year the viticultural industry had ‘dramatically increased’, with 71 new wineries opening. ‘This plan will hopefully reinforce our performance in the long run. Due to the low level of humidity this year, vines are extraordinarily healthy and wine tourism rose as much as 40% during 2003.’

The upheaval is likely to be significant, with new geographical specifications being planned and new levels of quality being introduced, and some sectors of the industry are sounding notes of caution.

‘The next challenge is to make sure there is harmony between the different sectors, concerning the best way to implement the resources arising from the strategic plan,’ Senetiner said.

Written by Jaquelina Jimena

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