Georgia: Agrarian commitee discusses Grapes and Wine law amendments

In a significant meeting, The Committee on Agrarian Affairs discussed the amendment to the Law “On Grapes and Wine”.These meeting called for the postponement of the obligation to increase the percentage of alcohol made from grapes grown in Georgia to 85%.

Nino Thandilashvili, First Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture, stated that, as per the current law, it will be possible to indicate “Georgian brand” on the brandfrom January 2, 2024, if at least 85% of the alcohol used to produce the brand is made from grapes grown in Georgia.

However, Before the implementation of the mentioned norm, it was possible to indicate “Georgian brand” on the label, even if 50% of the brand is produced using wine distillate made from grapes grown in Georgia.

To discuss this requirement under the new law, a meeting was held with different stakeholders of the sector at the National Wine Agency, and it was realised that there should be no jump-like increase in the limit in the law’s requirement. Moreover, this percentage must be increased annually by a certain percentage, based on the fact that there are no delays in export production.

Therefore, with the proposed draft law, the obligation of eighty-five per cent is postponed, but in the next five-year perspective, the limit of alcohol used in the content of the brand will be determined by 5-10% each year, added the Minister.

At present, about 60 companies are producing the mentioned product in the country. After consultations with them, it was considered appropriate to postpone the relevant norm of the law and to gradually determine the limit of the percentage of alcohol made from grapes grown in Georgia to be used for the production of “Georgian brand”. As per the expert, it will allow private companies To implement this in a balanced and gradual manner.

Notably increase of the annual limit will determined by the relevant subordinate normative act. As per the speaker’s explanation, the mentioned change will give the companies producing alcoholic beverages of grape origin the opportunity to change their production policy within a reasonable period and take the necessary steps so that the obligation stipulated by the law is not placed on them as an unnecessary burden, which instead of promoting the development of the industry, may lead to the loss of international markets and a decrease in the production of products in future.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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