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Agreement on wine making techniques welcome

Agreement on wine making techniques welcome

New World Wine Producers have agreed on most of the wording of an Agreement protecting the expanding international wine trade from unnecessary regulatory barriers, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said the Agreement would help secure overseas market access for New Zealand wine exports. In it, members agree to accept differences in regulatory requirements in oenological (wine making) practices amongst themselves, so that they would no longer be an obstacle to trade.

"We recognise each others' wine making techniques. If the wine meets domestic law requirements in its own country, it will be accepted for sale in other New World Wine Producers countries. We won't use non-tariff barriers based on prescriptive definitions and wine making regulations against each other.

"Importantly, the Agreement will benefit wine producers exporting to two of New Zealand's most important export markets, Australia and the United States."

Government and industry representatives from the New World wine-producing nations (New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Chile and South Africa) met in California last week to advance negotiations on the Agreement.

The New World Wine Producers group came into being to influence international wine trade rules and to ensure fair and equitable access to international wine markets.

Mr Sutton hosted the group's meeting in Queenstown in March, where negotiations on the Agreement began.

Mr Sutton said the Agreement would assist the New Zealand wine industry's continued impressive export performance while maintaining appropriate health and safety assurances for consumers and regulators.

The final Agreement will be signed as soon as all New World Producers countries complete domestic internal review procedures. Other countries can join the Agreement if they agree to abide by its obligations.

ENDS

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