South Africa allows wine exports
The South African wine industry has been given permission to export wines once again having been restricted from doing so for a short period due to the country’s current lockdown.
After a week of intense lobbying by industry bodies, the government has relaxed its previous ruling and will now allow wine exports as well as other fresh produce) to continue.
Yesterday afternoon (7 April), the Minister of Transport issued new regulations which stated: “During the lockdown period, the transportation of the wines and any other fresh produce products at the sea ports and international Airports Designated as Port of Entry for export is allowed.
“Agricultural Cargo is allowed to be transported to sea ports and International Airports Designated as Ports of Entry and exported to the relevant destination.”
The move is particularly important for South Africa’s wine producers and fruit farmers as so much of their produce is exported – 50% of all wine produced for example.
The industry also had to lobby to allow wine farm work to be classed as ‘essential’ by the government so the end of the harvest could be completed and important winery work completed during the lockdown, which was also necessary given the initial prognosis for the 2020 harvest in the country is that it’s an exceptionally high quality one.
The South African industry said it was grateful for the dispensation but industry bodies added that, “amid the excitement from the industry about these concessions, we need to reiterate that with this concession comes a great responsibility to keep our employees safe during this time.”