Health labels on wine will devastate industry, lobby group says

Minimum unit pricing will drive wine prices up ‘significantly’, Irish Wine Association says

The Irish Wine Association  says the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill will effectively require producers to put an “Irish only” label for products sold in the Republic. Photograph: iStock

The Irish Wine Association says the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill will effectively require producers to put an “Irish only” label for products sold in the Republic. Photograph: iStock

 

A measure to put health labelling on alcohol products will have a “devastating effect on Ireland’s wine importers” and will “increase business costs significantly”, the Irish Wine Association (IWA) has warned.

The labelling proposal is part of the Government’s Public Health (Alcohol) Bill which aims to reduce alcohol consumption in Ireland to 9.1 litres per person per year by 2020.

The IWA believes the proposal will effectively require producers to put an “Irish only” label for products sold in the Republic which will add to the business costs for those importers as Irish-bound wine will have to be stored separately to alcohol heading to other locations.

Other provisions in the Bill include regulation surrounding sponsorship and advertising of alcohol products, separation of alcohol products in retail outlets and minimum unit pricing.

That last measure, to have a minimum price on alcohol, “will drive wine prices up significantly across all price categories”, the IWA said.

“Ireland already has the highest rate of excise on wine in the European Union, making up €3.19 for every €9 bottle of wine sold here. We also have the highest wine prices in the EU, according to Eurostat, ” the lobby group added.