Georgian Wine Problems
By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, August 31In 2009 Georgia exported almost 10.1 million bottles of wine, but that was 10 percent less than in 2008. In 2009 Georgia exported more than 4 million bottles to Ukraine, to Kazakhstan more than 1 million and to Belarus 623 thousand bottles. Recently Ukraine has become the biggest importer of Georgian wines, consuming almost 42 percent of Georgian wine exports. Despite this, compared with the 2008 figures, there is a decrease in Georgian wine exports. According to some analysts the major reason for this decrease is the price, which is too expensive. A bottle of Italian or French wine for mass consumption costs around EUR 2.5, whereas the same type of Georgian wine is EUR 3.5. Following Ukraine's entry to the World Trade Organisation, the import of Georgian wine to Ukraine has lost its customs duty preferences. Another reason could be the almost non-existent marketing support from the Georgian government. It is well known that one of the priorities of the Ministry of Agriculture should be helping sales of Georgian products in the world market by advertising and promoting them to the populace as well negotiating on a governmental level.
Since 2006, when Russia imposed its ban on the import of Georgian wines, the Georgian government has promised to diversify the markets and facilitate the marketing of Georgian wines in Europe and the US. We even remember President Saakashvili appointing his friend and Minister of Defence, Irakli Okruashvili as the person in charge of promoting Georgian wines abroad. During its best years, Georgia was exporting around 60 million bottles of wine annually.