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France launches exceptional aid to the wine sector

The objective is to cover the losses of the sector during the COVID-19 crisis.

5/12/2020

French vineyard.

Bruno Le Maire, Minister for Economy and Finance, Didier Guillaume, Minister for Agriculture and Food, and Olivier Dussopt, Secretary of State for Gérald Darmanin, Minister for Action and Public Accounts for France, met by videoconference with all industry players French winemaker yesterday, Monday, May 11.

The health crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus has strongly hit the wine sector, which has been particularly dependent on sectors that have been administratively closed since March 15, 2020 and on export markets. The industry had already been heavily affected by the imposition of US sanctions on wine imports in November 2019. More than 85,000 companies (farms, cooperative wineries, wine merchants) are affected across France.

The ministers notably recalled all the measures to support companies already established by the Government and for which the sector is fully eligible (solidarity fund, loan guaranteed by the State, deferral of social contributions and taxes, partial unemployment ...) .

At the end of this meeting, three exceptional and sector-specific support measures were announced to ensure market stability and the continuation of its activity:
  • Exemptions from social security contributions for small businesses and SMEs;
  • A crisis distillation system amounting to € 140 million;
  • Relaunch of our application for a European level compensation fund.
The ministers insisted that the proposed plan is a first step and that there will be an organized modernization clause in the coming weeks to strengthen the plan if necessary, in particular through additional aid for the distilleries.


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