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Aust signs world wine trade agreement on wine labelling

26 March, 2007

Australia's wine industry is set to become even more competitive following the signing of the World Wine Trade Group's Agreement on Requirements for Wine Labelling.

The Treaty was signed by the Australian Government Minister for Trade, Warren Truss, and by representatives from 'new world' wine producing countries including the USA, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand and Canada. These countries, whose common goal is to boost international trade in wine, make up the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) which recently met in Canberra.

The Treaty standardises the presentation of certain information on wine labels such as product designation, content volume, percentage of alcohol and country of origin. In future, when a product is to be sold in several markets, winemakers and exporters will no longer have to attach a different front label for each destination.

Truss said the Australian wine industry estimates that the implementation of the Treaty's requirements for wine labelling would mean savings of about $25 million each year.

"Not only will production costs for Australian wine growers be reduced but it will become easier to promote our wines and expand into new markets," Truss said.

The Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, said the Treaty was a significant achievement for the WWTG.

"This simple concept, which cuts costs and increases market access, is very good news for our grape and wine producers and the 30,000 Australians employed within our wine industry," McGauran said.

Exports to WWTG member nations account for 47 per cent ($1.2 billion) of Australia's wine exports. The uniform labelling system will make it easier for Australian consumers to readily access wine information.

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