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UK wine producers encouraged by lifting of planting ban

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK: A decision by the European Commission for a permanent exclusion of the UK from the planting rights regime has been welcomed.

The planting restrictions were seen as the biggest challenge to the UK wine industry by English Wine Producers and the United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA).

Had the legislation gone ahead, UK wine producers would have had to stop any more planting once production surpassed 3.3 million bottles, averaged over five years.

Demand for English wines from domestic and overseas markets has increased recently, notably within the sparkling wine sector.

As such, the UKVA and English Wine Producers believed the planting ban - which was introduced in the EU in 1999 - would hinder the industry and thus not be in line with the introduction of the new Common Agricultural Policy.

Mariann Fischer Boel announced the EU wine reform on December 19 last year.