Level 4 regulation amendments ease wine industry woes

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The minister of agriculture in the Western Cape, Dr Ivan Meyer, welcomed the news that section 29 of the adjusted lockdown level 4 regulations under the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act 57 of 2002) dated June 2021 has now been amended. This section relates to the transport, dispensing and sale of alcohol. The amendment follows Dr Meyer’s letter to the national minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development, Thoko Didiza.

The amendment allows liquor, including wine, to be transported from manufacturing plants to storage and from licenced premises for safekeeping. This is incredibly important for businesses in this sector.

However, Dr Meyer expressed his disappointed that the amendments do not allow wine and liquor to be sold online and delivered to consumers’ residences via transport/courier services, as was also requested. This is a logical way to prevent gatherings but allow for sales to continue.

The amended regulations also make no allowance for the transport of wine samples. Not doing so will affect wine exports. Samples of each batch of wine destined for foreign countries undergo detailed tasting tests and chemical analysis in laboratories before export licences are granted. Moreover, it affects the wine industry’s ability to improve the quality of its wines and participate in wine competitions.

Wineries depend on wine scores and ratings to move their product efficiently as they primarily rely on high-profile wine competitions to help drive brand awareness and instil a sense of excitement for their wines.

Wine is the third biggest export product of the Western Cape economy and contributes 6,5% to the province’s exports. Because of this, it is an essential source of job creation. Therefore, the wine industry must be supported and protected in the Western Cape. – Press release, Western Cape Department of Agriculture