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Argentinian government announces $230m fund for small producers

Argentina’s government has unveiled a new funding scheme for the wine industry aimed at smaller producers.

Designed to help smaller wine producers ‘modernise production’, and to improve competition, the US$230m (£37m) relief fund comes from a $180m (£29m) loan from Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and 50% of future wine export duty.

The scheme was launched as the government announced a wine duty surplus of US$8.1m (£1.3m) generated between January and May 2009, compared to US$5.1m (£824,000) from the same period last year.

The surplus increase comes despite a 20% fall in exports, which President Cristina Fernandez said would ‘recover quickly amid the global crisis.’

Fernandez said the new scheme was designed to ‘re-distribute the surplus gain to all sectors of the wine industry.

‘This policy should be extended to other sectors, to improve the activity of small and medium businesses and achieve better profitability,’ she added.

The new policy is set to use the wine-generated revenue to directly help groups of ‘small and medium producers with problems such as seasonality.’

To qualify, smaller producers – those with up to 20 acres of cultivated vineyards – must be ‘part of an approved group of vineyards and must present an integrated business plan (NIP).’

It is thought the measure will benefit 26,000 small producers and around 1,300 wineries.

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Written by John Abbott

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