Post Date: April 2013

Hit by weather and EU curbs, overall wine production in the world has fallen by 6 percent in last year. Reuters photo Global wine production fell sharply last year due to bad weather in Europe and a recent policy to drain its "wine lakes", while Chile and United States saw a jump in harvests, according to a report.
The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) said world production was down around 6 percent in 2012 at 251 million hectolitres (Mhl), a level it described as very low. European Union output fell 10 percent to 141 Mhl, with France suffering a drop of nearly 17 percent after a good harvest in 2011.
"We had a difficult year 2012, mainly because of a sharp drop in production, but trade flows mostly held stable," OIV Director General Federico Castellucci told reporters, referring to total wine exports which were stable at 101 Mhl after a long-term upward trend.
The EU policy of digging up vines to end years of surpluses had lead to a reduction of 269,000 hectares between 2008 and 2011, well above the targeted 175,000 hectares, contributing to a recent rise in prices, Castellucci said. Rising consumption also helped push prices up.
"This meant tightness on the market and we need to be careful because once a market is lost it is hard to conquer it back," he said, pointing to higher prices for bulk wines, used to make liquors such as brandy and vermouth or vinegar.
Prices for French bulk red wines gained 7 percent between August and February, while bulk white wines rose 30 percent, data by French farm office FranceAgriMer showed.
French exports rose 6 percent to 15 Mhl, but Italy and Spain, the world's two largest wine exporters by volume, which also had a poor crop although not as bad, saw their exports fall 7 and 13 percent respectively to 21.5 and 19.1 Mhl.
Chile, the largest South American producer that had a record output in 2012, saw a 13-percent rise in exports to 7.5 Mhl. South African exports were up 17 percent to 4.2 Mhl, with sales to Britain jumping 50 percent.

ORGANIC food purchases in France continue to rise according to data published by the Organic Food Agency. In 2012, 64% of consumers purchased products whilst those regularly eating organic(meaning at least once a month ) was 43% compared to 40% in 2011 and 37% in 2003.

INSECTICIDES and pollination issues especially relating to bees.
There is evidence that the chemicals are harmful. Neonicotinoids are manufactured in the EU by Bayer CropSciences and Syngenta, based in Germany and the UK. These two countries are stalling attempts to negotiate a moratorium. The companies deny their products, when used correctly, cause harm to bees and other wild pollinators. However the Governments of France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia have already suspended the use of certain neonicotinoids. In the face of mounting scientific evidence, there is the possibility that the Commission will override EU negotiations and implement a ban.

PRE-ACCESSION FUND - are to make political and economic reform easier in the beneficiary countries and prepare them for the rights and obligations that come with EU membership - makes interesting reading...just shows how the Brussels based organization is determined to lock countries into their system - and note what amount is being given to Turkey - irrespective of what certain important political personalities think and have been on the record as saying....902 million Euros in 2013 alone.. the great majority subsidizing Rural and Development projects.

Agricultural exports to EU - main products are fruit and nuts. Large areas given over to livestock, cereals and olive oil production. With a population of 71 million(not far short of Germany) AND with a very clear business and work ethic mentality, the EU has every reason to become more competitive quickly, let alone worrying about the South West Balkan accession countries. Turkey as a country is a growing economic power straddling Europe and Asia. Did you know they have a High Speed rail link between Istanbul and the capital Ankara, and there are further plans to extend eastwards, in possible joint ventures with either Chinese or Russian Railways. Istanbul already has two modern airports, one on the European side and the other across the Bosphorus (used mainly for low cost carriers). At present there are plans to build the largest airport in the world capable of handling 150 million passengers with 6 runways - the first phase planned to be operational in late 2016 to handle 90 million passengers. The national flag carrier Turkish Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world serving 200 destinations.