New Zealand Winemakers Seek Protection for Local Labels
Wine industry in New Zealand has raised fears and concerned about the growth of counterfeits in export markets. This is because the wine consumption grows in China and other vintners. They also set up of vineyards and created premium labels exported from regions. The minister in wine industry of New Zealand discussed an option that legislation preventing winemakers in other countries from using the names of local brands.
80% of New Zealand's wine production is in the Marlborough region with vines growing on more than 23,000 hectares of land. The top-selling product is Sauvignon Blanc, which accounts for two in every three bottles leaving cellar doors in New Zealand. Although, lawmakers have tried to protect the Marlborough brand, unfortunately, New Zealand's winemakers faced challenges like a glut of grapes and the global financial crisis that led consumers to reduce their wine consumption and eventually drove down prices.
The value of New Zealand's wine exports has risen 33% since 2008, with shipments to China jumping tenfold to 2.2 million liters. The biggest buyers of New Zealand wine are Australia, the U.S. and the U.K. Although the vineyards in China grew 19% in the past five years, the company is trying to get into the Chinese market by targeting to smaller cities where local cuisine use white wine as complementary. However, a trade official at New Zealand Wine said that “we have bigger presence in international markets we have something we need to protect more”.
Protecting its best-selling wine brands in New Zealand has increasingly become important as Asia’s growing middle classes seek out a wider range of delicacies such as premium wine and cheese. In recent months, China imposed a temporary ban on some New Zealand milk products due to safety concerns.