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From wine as an agricultural product to “no” to new restrictive measures: Fivi demands to Europe

Ahead of the European elections, the “Manifesto” was published in consultation with the European Confederation of Independent Winegrowers (Cevi)
Independent Winemakers represented nearly 1,700 winemakers

By now, the June 6-9 European elections are coming up, and the wine world is also looking interested in proposals, people and alignments because the future of this product cannot fail to pass from the decisions taken in the summits of the Old Continent. A wine world that presents some candidates aiming at Strasbourg, with the reference realities that have already made their demands, it is the case of the Uiv (Unione Italiana Vini), or launched a Manifesto for the future of the sector, as did the Ceev (which, for Italy, counts, among its members, Federvini and Unione Italiana Vini - Uiv) but also the Fivi (Federazione Italiana dei Vignaioli Indipendenti, a reality that is close to 1,700 winegrowers, ed.), in concert with the European Confederation of Independent Winegrowers - Cevi, a document that starts from an assumption: more than half of the regulations governing the wine sector are drawn up, discussed and approved in Brussels.
For this reason, it is also crucial for Independent Winegrowers (Fivi) to convey its positions to the candidates for the European Parliament, just a few days before the European elections and on the eve of a new legislature. Fivi, in concert with the European Confederation of Independent Winegrowers (Cevi), has thus drawn up its own “Manifesto”, divided into five priority points and sent in recent days to Italian candidates, to make them aware of the importance of legislating effectively, coherently and harmoniously, in order to guarantee a future for the European wine sector.

“Wine is not simply an alcoholic beverage, but it is first and foremost an agricultural product”, explains Lorenzo Cesconi, a winemaker in Trentino and Fivi president. “This is the cornerstone not only of our “Manifesto”, but of all the efforts we put and will put into protecting Italian and European viticulture. Winemakers are the protagonists of a sustainable production model at every stage of the supply chain: in the countryside, in the cellar, on the market. Without viticulture there is no historic rural landscape, no territorial protection against hydrogeological instability, there is abandonment of the land and depopulation of inland areas. Without Winegrowers, the wine market would be the preserve of industrial products divorced from the land. To the European institutions we say: we are not simply asking for subsidies, but for recognition of our role and a coherent strategy that aims at a structural reform of the European wine system, up to the great changes taking place, climatic, geopolitical and consumption”.
The five points, which make up the “Manifesto”, signed by Fivi and Cevi, include the recognition of wine as an agricultural product, reforming the CAP in a more inclusive way for small producers; economic sustainability, implementing measures that reduce production costs, simplify sales and make it easier, more efficient and more competitive for small wine companies to run their businesses; environmental sustainability, with support for agroecological transition and research into new agronomic techniques, not staking all the cards only on assisted evolution technologies; and social sustainability, by strengthening the connection between farms and the land, enhancing the positive externalities of vertical enterprises. Finally, the call for not imposing new restrictive measures on moderate and conscious consumption of wine, strongly supporting the goal of combating abuse and harmful consumption. “In the coming weeks we will meet with all the candidates who are pleased and interested in engaging with us”, Cesconi concludes. “The future of the European wine system does not only concern the nearly 3 million people working directly or indirectly in the sector, but the whole of European society and territorial communities, generating 130 billion euros in GDP, 52 billion euros in tax revenue and attracting more than 36 million wine tourists (Ceev data, ed.): those who will have the honor and burden of sitting in the European Parliament, it is important that they are aware of this and have a thorough knowledge of a sector that is so important for the future of Europe”.

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