In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal there was an article on New Zealand Wine and Protectionism. With wine consumption increasing significantly in countries like China and Russia there is the fear amongst New Zealand growers about knockoff wines posing as premium labels exported from regions like Marlborough and Central Otago. NZ winemakers are lobbying for the same legal protection that French producers won for Champagne 20 years ago which prevents winemakers in other countries using the names of local brands. The WTO recognise geographical indicators and this comes under its protection.
The value of New Zealand’s wine exports has risen 33% to 1.2 billion New Zealand dollars (US$983.4 million) since 2008, with shipments to China alone jumping tenfold to 2.2 million liters. That is offsetting flatter growth in traditional markets such as Australia, the U.S. and the U.K., which remain the biggest buyers of New Zealand wine.
“The New Zealand wine industry has raised concern with me about the possible growth of counterfeits in our export markets,” Craig Foss Commerce Minister.