Winemakers Federation of Australia (WFA) welcomes the signing of a new agreement on trade in wine between Australia and the United Kingdom (UK), signed in London this week.
The Australia-United Kingdom (UK) Wine Agreement mirrors provisions held for many years within an existing agreement between Australia and the European Community on Trade in Wine, providing greater certainty of market access for Australian wine exporters and allowing for a smoother transition when the UK formally separates from the European Union (EU) on March 29, 2019.
“WFA has been working with the Australian government to ensure this agreement came to fruition, and we congratulate Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Simon Birmingham for getting the deal across the line” said WFA chief executive Tony Battaglene.
The UK is the world’s sixth largest wine market, and Australia’s number one export destination by volume.
It is also Australia’s third largest export destination by value, with $380 million worth of Australian wine exported to the UK in the 12 months to September 2018.
“With the outcome of Brexit shrouded in so much uncertainty, it is great to see the government on the front foot, maintaining access to this vital market for Australian winemakers” Mr Battaglene said.
“Although, there will be still be challenges for exporters in the immediate post-Brexit environment, this deal will significantly help the Australian wine sector during this turbulent time and provides advantages to Australian wine exporters that most of our competitors will not enjoy.”
WFA will continue to work with the Australian government before and after Brexit to make sure the interests of Australian winemakers are considered
Mr Littleproud has announced the deal to safeguard Australian wine exports post-Brexit includes labelling rules, wine-making practices and geographical indications.
The current agreement would continue for wine trade between Australia and the EU, he said.
The deal was done to maintain Australia’s strong trading relationship the UK.
“The UK bought more Aussie wine than any other country last year—that’s a customer we want to look after,” Mr Littleproud said.
“This agreement will protects Australia’s geographical indicators so UK consumers know our wine is fair dinkum.
“It also outlines wine labelling rules and recognises Australia’s authorised wine-making practices including a simple approval process for new wine-making practices.
“The agreement will secure the benefits of the existing deal with the EU so they continue with the UK after leaving the union.
“Last year, nearly a third of our wine exports went to the UK.
“We can grow our trade relationship with the UK under this agreement and put more money in Australian wine grower’s pockets.”
The Agreement between Australia and the European Community on Trade in Wine will continue to apply to wine trade between Australia and the EU.