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France Favors Keeping Wine Market Organization as EU Reforms CAP

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- France, producer of champagne and burgundy wines, favors keeping a common market organization for wine in the European Union as the bloc reforms its farm policy, Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll said.

The country doesn’t back a proposal by the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, to switch to a fixed area payment for vineyards as part of the new common agricultural policy, Le Foll said at a press conference, following an industry meeting at the Agriculture Ministry in Paris today.

“Keep a wine CMO rather than going to a system of a payment per hectare,” Le Foll said. “How can we justify giving an aid per hectare to the producers of Champagne” or other grand cru wines, he said.

The EU’s existing wine-market organization allocates a budget for the industry and allows for common-interest measures, such as export promotion, which might disappear if every wine grower gets an individual payment, according to Jerome Despey, head of the wine board at crop office FranceAgriMer.

“We prefer to keep these structuring measures,” Despey said at the press conference.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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