Monday, 17 December 2018 | News today: 4

Winemakers seek support from state for their export efforts


Macedonian winemakers are facing fierce competition in foreign markets, wine industry representatives said at a meeting with Agriculture Minister Ljupco Nikolovski on Monday. They are asking the state to support the export of their products, which in turn will help them pay out grape growers.

“To buy grapes on time, winemakers have to export their wine at a profit. This is the only way we can stay in business with grape growers, who also need to make money and cover their costs,” Nikola Derebanov from the Stobi Winery said.

“We are facing fierce competition in the global market,” he added, “and all countries that have succeeded internationally did it with state support.”

Minister Nikolovski said that today’s meeting, taking place three months before the grape harvest begins, was held to understand winemakers’ needs and note their suggestions. He added that there would be a meeting with grape growers, as well, in an effort to ensure successful cooperation.

Nikolovski acknowledged the need for legislative changes regarding the wine industry so that distribution and prices are stable and high-quality production is stimulated.

“Grape growers and winemakers need to be partners, and contracts need to be enforced if we want to develop this export-oriented branch of industry,” Nikolovski said.

He pointed out that the Government has paid out more than MKD 600 million for the upkeep of grape-bearing plantations in anticipation of the new harvest.