Croatian Winemakers Demand Protection From Cheap Import Competition

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Last year 300 thousand hectolitres of wine was imported to Croatia. Winemakers complain that the majority of import is of low quality, endangering domestic winemaking with weak controls. They are hopeful the new Wine Law will protect Croatian wines

The tourist season is in full swing and with it the business in the cellars of Slavonian winemakers. They are struggling for the market. With the flood of cheap imported wines, it’s a Sisyphus effort, wrote on July 25, 2016.

“Now there is no way we can compete with imported wines with such low prices and are asking the state for help,” said Zorica Tandara from Kutjevo.

This through tougher imported wine controls. Last year there were only twenty. Discouraging, knowing the fact that Croatia imports wines of the lower price range – from a half to one Euro – which often do not satisfy the basic organoleptic standards.

“Croatia is a big market for small wine production and everyone sees a chance there, EU nations as well as neighbours from former Yugoslavia,” explained Ivica Perak from the Commission for Wine Sales.

Order in the wine market could come in the form of a authenticity stamp. It would be placed on every label of domestic wine and guarantee the consumer the most important – origin and quality. It exists for ages in developed wine countries, while Croatia still has to legalise it.

“The new Wine Law should include all segments and specifics of a wine area and wine regions,” said Vlado Krauthaker, member of the Commission for Wine Sales.

But winemakers are hurting from the fact the motion has been aging in Brussels for eight years waiting for completion. Thus Croatia still imports five times more than it exports. And without a true law to protect domestic production, it’s hard to hope for better numbers.


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