Allegrini 2018

Uiv: wine enterprises at the Government table for promotion

The Secretary-General Paolo Castelletti, between Ocm Promozione (on the internal market) and the strategic plan for Made in Italy (not only online)
Wine, the promotion to start again

There are many proposals brought by the Assemblea Generale Uiv - Unione Italiana Vini (UIV) on the table of the Government, but the most important, given the strong propensity to export Italian wine, concerns the chapter related to promotion, on which wine companies want to have their say, as it should be, working side by side with the Minister of Agriculture, Teresa Bellanova, the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Manlio Di Stefano and the MEP Paolo De Castro, S&D Coordinator at the EU Agriculture Commission. How does the Uiv - Unione Italiana Vini intend to move, on which countries it would like to channel resources, and what tools does it imagine it will use to allow Italian wine to make up the ground lost in recent months, which have weakened consumption everywhere, from China to the United States, by eliminating direct sales and international tourism throughout Italy? At WineNews we talked about this with Paolo Castelletti, UIV General Secretary, who has clear ideas and a plan that travels on two tracks, the Ocm Promozione (also on the domestic market, promoting wine tourism and territories) and the strategic plan for Made in Italy, to focus on the target markets (USA, Canada, UK, with Brexit, China, and Germany) and open new ones, from the Far East to Africa.
“On the wine promotion front, we're moving on two tracks. One is all within the Community measures, and therefore the CMO Promotion: we asked the Minister Bellanova to remodel the National Support Plan - explains Castelletti - bringing the amount available to 150 million euros per year, for the next three years, so that, co-financed roughly in half by companies, it will create an impact of 800-900 million euros over the period.
 And this is to give a shake-up in terms of exports because we cannot think of regaining the quotas we had before: just think that everything that is no longer exported to China by those in front of us (France, Australia, Chile) ends up on competing markets. There is at least an issue of maintaining and recovering positions before COVID, and here we have to do a lot of work on the promotional activities of companies, which must be helped”.
The other strand, as mentioned above, has more to do with “the strategic plan for Made in Italy, on which we have not quite understood the measures that Ice has put in place. We asked Undersecretary Di Stefano - continues Secretary-General UIV - that in the definition of the measures we would like there to be a table of wine companies, as happened for the extraordinary plans in the USA and China a few years ago, to support the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, so that the measures are effectively effective, namely, that the euro multiplier invested has important effectiveness. “For this reason,” Castelletti reiterates, “we asked for a table only on wine, to define the target countries with the companies, because we know where we need to go, and for the definition of the measures, because we have the impression that there is perhaps too much confidence in online, and there is skepticism on the part of the companies. Not because they do not believe in online, but because the use of online platforms must also be done with full knowledge of the facts. We ask that it is not the only channel, but that traditional measures are also taken, and therefore of relationship with distribution and with Gdo, as was done with the extraordinary plans, which worked very well in the days of Minister Calenda”.
Moving the analysis on the CMO issue, Paolo Castelletti recalls that “promotion on the internal market is not excluded from Community regulations. Mr. De Castro told us that there is a certain difficulty at Commission level, and that it could be seen as an aid to wine tourism activities, therefore not so much as an incentive to promote brands, as is done in third countries, but to wine tourism activities, and it would be fine. This is what we are trying to do on the internal market, because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ice do not give contributions to companies, they have a more institutional mission, which relies on huge funds, and they must be invested very well”.
The countries to invest in, of course, “are first and foremost five that absorb 70% of Italian exports (Germany, the USA, Great Britain, Canada and Switzerland, ed.), but there are other countries to follow closely. Starting with Japan, which at the beginning of the year - recalls the Secretary-General UIV - had given excellent results in the wake of the free trade agreement signed with the EU, as well as Canada, for the same reason. Interesting also South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and then it is time to start looking at the countries of Africa, on which the French have already begun to work. And then there is important reasoning on Great Britain, which will be a non-EU country, which in addition to promotion has at stake the overcoming of the hard Brexit, and then avoid the customs issue, which beyond the tariff aspects, on which London is already working, would involve important customs costs”.
Ultimately, says Paolo Castelletti, “there is a lot of work to be done. Let’s imagine that we don't go back to the pre-Covid situation before the end of 2021, we are in great pain, taking into account that the Horeca channel started with a half service, not only in Italy, but all over the world, and Gdo has certainly not recovered the shares we lost in Horeca and direct sales, which together make up almost 2/3 of the value of wine sold in Italy. These are two channels that have been dead for months, and this worries us. I want, however, to emphasize - concludes Castelletti - that we have found a positive response both from the Minister Bellanova, who is working with Di Maio for the plan to promote Made in Italy, agreeing that companies should be heard, and from Undersecretary Di Stefano, who responded quickly, summoning us for July 23rd, to get our contribution and help the Public Administration so that every penny spent is valued at best”.

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