“Planting Rights” is an archaic system by which winegrowers are not allowed to plant new vines (extend their vineyards) unless they have “planting rights”. Without these “rights” nothing can be planted. It has been in place for many years in the big wine producing countries in Europe, to some extent as a counter-party to the government subsidies to unsuccessful winemakers (who cannot sell their wines).
Both those aspects of agricultural policy will be abolished according to what has been agreed by all countries in the EU.
There is unfortunately a strong movement in some wine production circles to try and make the system with planting rights stay.
This movement is led mainly by people who wants to protect the interests and rents of incumbent producers by keeping Planting Rights.
It is, on the contrary, in the interest of the wine consumers and the wine lovers of Europe and the world, and those who want a dynamic and competitive wine sector, that planting rights should be abolished.
I was invited to write a guest article for Les 5 du Vin recently and I chose as a subject planting rights (sexy as it is!).
You can read the full article here on Les 5 du Vin: Let’s talk business: Why Planting Rights is a bad idea
Basically, my argument is this:
- The system of planting rights (PR) is a protectionist system designed to protect those on the inside (existing wine growers) from those who are outside (potential future wine growers)
- PR reduces the dynamism and the entrepreneurial spirit in the wine sector
- PR is a disguised subsidy
- PR is good for those who have (existing wine growers) and bad for the have-nots and for the consumers
- PR leads to that the consumer has to pay more expensively for the wines, to that prices are artificially kept higher
- PR is not in any way a guarantee for quality
- Those who defend PR most often confuse PR with appellation rules
So if the system with planting rights is abandoned, as has already been agreed, it will lead to:
- A more dynamic wine sector
- More innovation
- A more internationally competitive European wine industry
- Better quality and less expensive wines for the consumer
- Less costly subsides from the government and the people for uncompetitive wine growers
Read the full article referenced above for my complete text!
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