French wineries to receive €250 million to weather lockdown and US tariffs

The French government has announced it will spend an additional €80 million to support the nation’s wine industry after global lockdowns tore into sales.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Wednesday (5 August) that the state will raise its support plan to wine growing to €250 million “and we will request this aid to be distributed as quickly as possible because cash needs are pressing”.

The funds have been set aside to support French wine businesses after lockdowns closed restaurants and bars and US tariffs curbed exports.

Businesses can apply for the so-called solidarity fund, a state-guaranteed loan, tax and social payment deferrals and activité partielle, France’s version of the Job Retention Scheme.

The announcement comes two months after the government had already pledged to ramp up its support package, which would help wineries to store rather than distil surplus wine.

“Supporting our winegrowers in the face of the crisis also means safeguarding our common heritage and its artisans,” Castex said on Twitter on 5 August.”The support plan for the sector will be increased to €250 million euros: I hope that they will be affected as quickly as possible.”

In a meeting on 11 May, French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire; Minister of Agriculture and Food, Didier Guillaume; and Olivier Dussopt, State Secretary to Gérald Darmanin, Minister of Action and Public Accounts, said the government would set aside €140 million in “the first series of specific support measures” for the wine industry during the Covid-19 crisis. This was then raised to €170 million in one month later.

France’s largest farming union, the Fédération Nationale des Syndicats d’Exploitants Agricoles (FNSEA), had previously called for a larger €500m support package for the French wine industry, including a €260m crisis distillation scheme which would be used to distill around 3 million hectolitres of excess wine.

One Response to “French wineries to receive €250 million to weather lockdown and US tariffs”

  1. Hopefully this money will be distributed to the most needed, especially small independent wine growers!!!

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