The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) will host the annual World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) meeting in Cape Town from 01 to 03 November 2017.
The WWTG is an informal group of government and industry representatives from the wine-producing countries of Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Georgia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. Founded in 1998, the group aims to facilitate international trade in wine through information sharing, discussions on regulatory issues in wine markets, and joint actions for the removal of trade barriers. The WWTG has negotiated three agreements, one MoU and an arrangement that promotes international wine trade.
The group is guided by principles that facilitate trade in wine and protect consumers, benefiting both wine exporting and importing countries. The WWTG recognises the unique characteristics of each regulatory system and works towards the mutual acceptance of practices and labelling, rather than imposing a single regulatory approach.
Uruguay has been participating in meetings of the group as an observer for a number of years and has recently applied to accede to the Mutual Acceptance Agreement on Oenological Practices (MAA) of the group. It is expected that the decision by the group for Uruguay to accede to the MAA will be taken in Cape Town.
Chairmanship of the group is done on a rotational basis, with the chairperson functioning as secretariat and host of the annual meeting. This is the third time South Africa is hosting; in a joint operation between the DAFF, the Wine and Spirit Board and the wine industry which is represented by the South African Liquor Brand Owners’ Association (Salba) and VinPro – a body representing producers, cellars and other stakeholders in the wine industry.
Nine countries will be participating in the meeting with approximately 80 to 100 delegates expected from government and the industry.
Wine is one of South Africa’s biggest export products and is also a highly regulated product in most countries in the world. The sector is labour intensive and has close linkages with the equally intensive tourism sector.
The meetings provide an opportunity to establish networks at a technical level with regulators and trade officials from participating countries. In addition to addressing various wine trade related issues during the meeting, it is hoped that delegates will experience South African hospitality and cuisine during the meeting. Minister Senzeni Zokwana will formally open the meeting on 02 November 2017.
For further information on the group, visit: http://www.wwtg-gmcv.org/.