Brussels in Port Wine threat

 In News

Portugal’s wine and port industry could be under threat because of the EU’s anti-alcohol policy.

This is according to George Sandeman, the President of Portugal’s Wine and Spirits Association (ACIBEV) who believes “we are facing an anti-alcohol fundamentalism”.

Portugal’s wine and port wine sector has been enjoying a good year so far in 2018 but the industry could soon be facing price hikes and advertising restrictions on alcoholic drinks in countries and regions such as Ireland and Scotland.

Portugal’s wine industry represents an annual business turnover of around €600 millions of which between 50%-60% is exported overseas.

The most well-known and successful Portuguese exporters include Mateus Rosé, Esporão, Aveleda, Quinta do Crasto and Barca Velha.

The industry generates around 3,000 direct jobs and 200,000 indirect jobs.

Despite the fact that the association defends a culture of “Drink in Moderation,” the European Union has recently been adopting measures to encourage cutting back on alcohol consumption, particularly among the young.

The EU measures result, in part, from guidelines from the World Health Organisation which over the past five years has been raising awareness about the ill effects of excessive alcohol consumption not just through campaigns but also price increases and restrictions in advertising.

“This situation puts the sustainability of our industry at risk. It is important to note that drinking in the north of Europe is focused on two or three days of the week (mostly weekends) whereas drinking in the south of Europe, particularly wine, is associated with gastronomy” says George Sandman while the price of wine in northern Europe is “distorted by state monopolies which control revenues, sales and taxes.”