Australia welcomes wine label reforms

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags International trade

New labelling requirements for exporting wines could save
Australian producers as much as €14m, according to a government

The estimates were made by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC) which last week welcomed new measures agreed by the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG), to allow for a single export label to be used when trading with its members.

The WWTG consists of some of the world's leading wine producers including Australia, the US, Canada, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina.

The AWBC estimates that fellow WWTG members the US, Canada and New Zealand account for around 47 per cent of the country's total wine exports.

With the new labelling in place, the corporation add that cost of trading to these markets should be reduced significantly.

Under the previous guidelines, each individual nation called for a separate label on wine before it could be sold within into their domestic markets.

This according to Sam Tolley, AWBC chief executive was creating needless expense for Australia's wine industry.

"Until now, Australian wine producers had differing label requirements when exporting wine to other signatory countries in the World Wine Trade Group,"​ Tolley said.

"This often resulted in unnecessarily expensive printing costs to meet the labelling requirements of so many different markets,"

The new single label system will require a producer to list content volume, percentage of alcohol present and the country of origin to meet standards.

While praising the reforms as a step forward for exporters, the AWBC accepted that the system was still far from perfect.

Even with backing from the WWTG, the labelling as yet has not been ratified by the EU - an industry worth €0.5bn to the Australian wine industry.

The AWBC remains confident however, that the labelling which it claims are "consistent"​ with EU regulations could create further savings for producers in the future.

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