"Double-digit growth for organic wines. Their purchase in supermarkets improved", by Giorgio Dell'Orefice (IT)

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Organic wine in the world is now a segment counting on 275,000 hectares of vineyards and on a overall production of about 6 million hectoliters. These  figures are provided by "Millesime Bio", the exhibition of French organic wine on air this week in Montpellier, France.

Organic vineyards: a dizzying growth

Organic wine is neither a niche nor a fashion product: it is demonstrated by the tremendous growth of organic vineyards in recent years. In 2014,  organic vineyards around the world were occupying a surface of about 275,000 hectares (3.6% of the world total vineyards), 11% more than in 2013. About 30% out of these are in conversion, but surfaces in particular grew by 164% in the seven years between 2007 and 2013.

Europe remains the "cradle" of the organic wine

Organic vineyards are concentrated mainly in Europe, where they are about 73% of the total. The higher percentage of organic vineyards is located in Austria (9.7% of the European total area), followed by France (8.5%), Spain (8.4%), Italy (7.9%) and Germany (7.4%).

Organic wine: world trade improves

According to the data of Agrex Consulting / Agence Bio for 2011, over 2.36 million hectoliters (39% of the world production) are sold abroad. A percentage not far from that of conventional wines (45%). The main exporters are: Spain, with 39% of world exports, followed by France (19%) and Italy (17%).

Spain developed an organic wine chain almost entirely dedicated to export, while in France and in Italy, by contrast, organic productions saw a parallel growth in domestic consumption and export: 11.6% of the Italians, in 2013, had drunk at least once an organic wine (in 2012 they were 2% only), while the annual growth of sales in the supermarkets in recent years grew by 4%/year, according to data from the Nomisma wine Monitor. The main importers of Italian organic wines are Germany and Northern European countries, historical markets and precursors  for the sector, while in Asia Japan is growing  and, more recently, the US and Canada are starting to recover after a few years of stop.

But the positive results alone are not enough

The data reported by "Millésime Bio" are certainly positive, but there is still much to do. Silvano Brescianini, technical director of Barone Pizzini and one of the pioneers of  organic in Italy, says that  "The development process was certainly supported by the new 2012 EU Regulation on organic wine. A regulation that filled a legislation gap, but the problems remain, and the main one refers to the US, that do not recognize EU  organic wine certification on their market, and therefore we can not label our wines as organic. A problem that must be solved in the context of US-EU trade negotiations also because Europe, in this field, is the world leader, with 70% of the global organic vineyards surface".

"Il Sole 24 Ore", 29 January 2015












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