France faces an excess of wine, resulting in plans to destroy a significant quantity, amounting to over 100 Olympic-size swimming pools, due to economic challenges and declining consumption.
The decision to destroy excess wine is driven by the rising costs of wine production and recent global events, along with a decrease in wine consumption.
Making wine has become more expensive, and reduced consumer demand has left producers with unsold surplus, particularly affecting renowned wine regions like Bordeaux.
Initially, the European Union provided around $172 million to destroy 80 million gallons of wine. Additional funds were announced by the French government to tackle the issue.
Producers plan to use the funds to distill the surplus wine into pure alcohol, which can be repurposed for other products, such as cleaning supplies and perfume.
Preventing Price Collaps The allocated funds aim to prevent a collapse in wine prices and assist winemakers in finding alternative sources of revenue, stated by Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau.
Wine consumption in France has been steadily decreasing over the years, with a shift from an average of 136 liters per person in 1926 to about 40 liters today.
The decline in wine consumption is attributed to consumers having a wider variety of beverage choices, leading to decreased preference for wine.
Factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, supply disruptions due to the war in Ukraine, and climate change impacts have contributed to higher production costs and tighter budgets.
France's efforts to regulate wine production and prevent overproduction date back to the 19th century, with ongoing struggles to find the right balance.
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