EU creates online platform to guide Georgian winemakers
Thursday, September 15New opportunities are opening for Georgian winemakers and wine-lovers through a new European Union (EU)-funded program to spur growth and exports of Georgian wine to the EU market.
The new online database, which is currently under development, will provide a range of information about wine producers in Georgia and at the same time, help them to access key information about wine export opportunities to the EU.
A hundred companies mainly from Georgia’s Kakheti and Kartli regions have been selected and interviewed to feature on the new website. The website will share information about these companies’ production, pricing and availability for export.
Baia Abuladze, who produces Georgian wine under the brand name ‘Baia’s Wine’, had high hopes for the new online platform, as she believed local wine producers could gain valuable knowledge about quality international standards and how to market to Europe.
“We expect once the platform is launched, which is expected in December, all wine producers will be able to access information packages and through better knowledge of safe and quality wine production, more producers will export their products to Europe,” Abuladze said.
Since Georgia signed its Association Agreement (AA) with the EU in June 2014, new opportunities for local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) opened through the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), which brought benefits and duty-free trade with the EU.
In light of these new prospects, the Georgian Wine Association conducted an assessment of the wine and grape sector and found Georgian wine producers and people involved in the wine tourism sector lacked key knowledge and support for innovative product development, lacked access to finance and had few opportunities to exchange practices with their European counterparts.
To solve this problem the EU funded the East Invest 2 regional investment and trade facilitation program that will work to support and develop the SME sector in Eastern Partnership countries, including Georgia.
The East Invest 2 scheme, through one of its actions, set out to revitalise the Georgian wine industry by transferring knowledge from Bulgaria in the areas of wine marketing and standardisation.
Therefore the Georgian Wine Association (GWA), an independent non-state organisation, has been partnered up with the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).
Taking into account the fact that there was no professional, business and information platform about wine and grape products in Georgia, the East Invest 2 program aimed to create an online platform to fill this missing gap. (Agenda.ge)