Key International Trade and Market Access Forums

The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) Spring meetings are underway between 28 February and 10 March 2023. Australian Grape & Wine’s Director of Strategy and International Affairs, Damien Griffante, is attending to ensure the Australian wine sector’s interests are maintained. So what is it all about, and why is it important to the sector? 

The OIV provides grape and wine producing, and consuming, countries with information to develop regulations, minimise barriers to trade, promote sustainable production and protect consumers.  This is provided through the development and publication of reference standards and resolutions covering the key areas of Viticulture and table grapes, Oenology and Methods of Analysis, Economics and Law, Health and Safety.

Although the OIV resolutions and reference standards are non-binding, many members and non-members of the OIV adopt these in regulation. The European Union takes into account the resolutions of the OIV around winemaking practices, and adopts by reference, its methods of analysis.

The OIV is currently made up of 49 Member states and a number of observers. Australia has been an active member in the OIV and its predecessor organisation for many years, pursuing a range of offensive and defensive agendas across the technical committees.

A number of key items being discussed at the Spring meetings include:

  • Update to the OIV international standard for labelling of wines – E-label, nutrient declaration, information about ingredients
  • Resolutions for Specific oenological practices for beverages obtained by dealcoholisation of wine
  • Update of the international standard for wine labelling: varietal name
  • Presentation from students on: “Identification and designation of names and synonyms of vine varieties: international harmonization issues” including Prosecco and Vermentino   
  • Other meetings included viticulture, food safety, statistics, economics, technical, health, methods of analysis and sustainability projects, research or technical resolutions and proposals.

The World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) meetings will follow OIV on 13-14 March as well as FIVS on 15-16 March.

The World Wine Trade Group is an Industry-Government partnership of New World wine producing countries, with a mutual interest in facilitating the international trade in wine and avoiding the application of obstacles to international trade in wine. Members are Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Georgia, New Zealand, South Africa, United States of America and Uruguay (with a number of countries including China, India, Brazil, Japan, UK and Mexico having participated as observers).

Key items on the agenda for the March meetings include:

  • A presentation from EU industry and Commission guest speakers on impending labelling changes in EU – Nutrition, Ingredient, and Health Warnings;
  • Discussions relating to how WWTG members can coordinate interests in relation to engaging with the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade Committee;
  • A session on EU Packaging Directive with the European Committee for Standardization’s (CEN) Cinzia Missiroli, Director for Standardization;
  • A trade barrier working group meeting in consideration of reporting tracking and resolving global trade barriers including Ireland Public Health Alcohol Labelling Regulations 2022 and others;
  • International organisation coordination working group discussions focusing on WHO and CODEX Food Labelling and Food Additive meetings;
  • The sustainability working group’s consideration of new work.
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