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Production estimates for the 2021 harvest and the future of wine, according to COPA-COGECA

Luca Rigotti, president of the Wine Working Group, said, “climate change is a challenge, winegrowers need resources and technology”
Luca Rigotti, president of the COPA-COGECA Wine Working Group

Most European wine producing Countries have registered a significant drop in production, starting with the three main producers (Italy -9%, Spain -14% and France -27%). The drop is comparable to the 2017/2018 harvest, which went down in history as a bad year for the wine sector. Spring frosts, summer drought, hail, heat surges in September, and vines attacked by diseases in some countries, are the main culprits for these low yields, the COPA-COGECA 2021/2022 harvest estimates revealed. COPA is the main European agro-food representative organization, and it represents farmers. COGECA, instead, is the voice of Cooperatives, and Luca Rigotti is president of the Wine Working Group, Gruppo di Lavoro Vino (he is also at the helm of the Trentino Mezzacorona Group, ed.), one of the most important wine cooperative companies in Trentino and Italy, as well as in the wine sector of the Alliance of Agro-food Cooperatives.
Climate change is obviously one of the most urgent issues that the sector is forced to face on a daily basis. Therefore, the sector is investing heavily on climate issues, which are, moreover, at the forefront of the meeting on the future of the sector organized by the COPA-COGECA Wine Working Group. The Group has also put on the table for discussion changes in consumption models, the new Common Agricultural Policy, and opening new markets.

“The climatic events we have experienced this year”, commented Luca Rigotti, “show the extent to which climate change is impacting agriculture, and furthermore they indicate the challenges that the wine sector will have to face in the future. Winemakers are very much aware of these challenges, and the sector has already implemented several sustainability projects, backed by quality certificates. To be able to continue on this virtuous path, however, and go further, winemakers need adequate resources and time, which must be supplemented with research and innovative technologies - the fundamental tools to maintain the competitiveness of European Union wines on International markets”.
Shifting the analysis to the moment the wine market experienced is, said Luca Rigotti, “bittersweet, because on one hand there are positive trends, such as recovering consumption after the HORECA (hotels, restaurants, catering) sector reopened, and recovering exports, driven by US tariffs being suspended (to France, Spain and Germany), in the context of the Airbus / Boeing dispute. On the other hand, we are deeply concerned that production and transportation costs have increased exponentially. And it is especially the costs of raw materials, energy and transportation that have risen in some cases to unsustainable and unjustified levels, thus there is a risk of reducing margins and compromising our competitiveness”, concluded the president of the COPA-COGECA Wine Working Group, Luca Rigotti.

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