Additional 13 Million Kuna for Croatian Winemakers Amid Crisis

Lauren Simmonds

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic
Peljesac, Croatia
Peljesac, Croatia

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of July, 2020, at a recent e-consultation, the proposal of the National Programme for Assistance to the Wine Sector for the period 2019-2023 was published, giving ”birth” to the so-called wine envelope, which significantly increases funding for crisis distillation and crisis storage measures, which is excellent news for Croatian winemakers.

Instead of the originally planned 43 million kuna, the Ministry of Agriculture provided an additional 13 million kuna, so now the total support for the stabilisation of the wine market which will certainly allow Croatian winemakers to breathe a sigh of relief amounts to 56 and a half million kuna.

“The Wine Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) welcomes such a decision, which envisages a significant increase in funds for crisis distillation and the crisis storage of wine from 43 million kuna to 56 and a half million kuna. Specifically, for the measure of crisis distillation of wine, the funds were increased from 38 million kuna to 46.5 million kuna, and for the measure of crisis storage of the wine, there was an increase from 5 million to 10 million kuna. I believe that the funds will be fully used and that they will significantly mitigate the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and the decline in tourist spending, because we shouldn’t forget that Croatian winemakers sell about 70 percent of their total production through the tourism sector and through HOREC channels,” said HGK’s Vice President for Agriculture and Tourism, Dragan Kovačević, adding that this is another example of good cooperation between Croatian winemakers and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Namely, the crisis caused by the spread of the new coronavirus has strongly affected the wine sector, so the Croatian Chamber of Commerce proposed changes to the so-called wine envelope to the Ministry of Agriculture even earlier.

Wine sales in Croatia have a very seasonal character, ie, a significant percentage is related to the tourist season, which this year will be at 30 percent of the level it was in previous years, which has already led to a drop in wine sales of 80 percent in the pre-season. An average annual decline of 50 percent is expected.

Crisis distillation and storage programmes will help Croatian winemakers and the wine sector to bridge current liquidity, preserve employment and prepare for the purchase of grapes in the 2020 harvest, not only through financial support but also by removing surplus wine from their cellars.

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