The World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) has enjoyed significant achievements to date as this platform continues to play an important role in influencing international wine trade arrangements.
The success of the WWTG has helped rejuvenate international thinking on international wine trade issues with key achievements, such as:
- Mutual Acceptance Agreement on Oenological Practices
- Agreement on Requirements for Wine Labelling
- Memorandum of Understanding on Certification
- Improved Understanding of Global Wine Issues
- Joint Action at WTO, OIV, Codex
- Outreach to developing Wine Economies
- Strategic Initiatives and Action Plans
Representatives from the SA wine industry and the National Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) recently attended a midterm meeting of the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) in Brussels, Belgium, where the SA delegation also took over the chair from Canada for 2017 and 2018.
This joint forum for wine industry and government representatives was established in 1998 with founding members being Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States of America. In 2010 the Republic of Georgia joined, whilst Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, Japan, China and the UK also attended meetings as observers over the past few years. This group not only represents the New World Wine producers, but also more than 40% of total wine production and trade.
The core vision of the forum is to ensure a successful, competitive and growing global wine industry, characterised by social responsibility, sustainability and focus on consumer interests, operating in a climate free of trade-distorting factors.
A number of themes of common interest are discussed in industry and government sessions and action plans formulated to address these. Relevant agreements are formalised and ratified by governments from member countries.
The meeting in Brussels covered various topics including an update on Brexit, Codex Wine Additives, Addition of Water to Grapes, Reduced Border Formalities for Wine Samples, Good Regulatory Principles and World Health Organisation recommendations with regard to alcohol.
South Africa will host the meeting in Cape Town from 1 to 3 November 2017 with 180 to 200 delegates from the government and industry sections that will attend. This opportunity will also be fully utilised not only to make further progress with regard to existing themes, but also to showcase our Wine and Tourism offering to these global delegates.