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Grape growers fight to keep planting limits

03.09.12 | News

Grape growers are lining up support from EU national governments and the European Parliament to protect limits on vine planting that are due to expire by 2016, a liberalisation move they claim will destroy one of Europe’s premier industries, reported EurActiv.

The planting debate is gaining momentum as a high-level group organised by Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloş searches for a compromise and lawmakers weigh amendments to the EU’s common market organisation, or CMO, that for years has allowed government intervention to support and stabilise grape growing.

Backed by national governments in major wine producing countries, vintners are pressuring Parliament and national leaders to reverse a four-year-old decision to lift restrictions which, unlike production quotas, limit how many vines can be planted.

Stéphane Le Foll, France’s agriculture minister, said last week he had lined up the support of the German, Italian and Spanish governments to defend planting rights, EurActiv France reported.