The Irish Wine Association has launched its Irish Wine Market Report 2015, and calls for a 15% alcohol excise reduction in the upcoming budget.
The report looks at a number of aspects of the wine industry, such as employment, sales, consumption and excise.
The report states that 1,100 people are directly employed by distributors and importers, and that thousands more work in restaurants, independent off-licences and hotels that sell wine.
8.56 million cases of wine were sold in 2015, up from 8.52 in 2014.
Wine accounts for 27.7% of the alcoholic beverage market, with 80% of sales occurring in off-licences and 75% of the wine purchases being priced between €7 and €10.99.
The report also notes that the Irish Government increased excise on wine by 62% since 2012, and that Irish consumers pay the highest excise on wine in the European Union, at €3.19 per standard €9 bottle.
Launching the report, Sergio Soriano Cano, a Spanish Wine exporter from Grupo Barón de Ley said: “I have significant experience exporting wine from Spain to Ireland and the biggest challenge I see by far is Ireland’s crippling excise rate on wine. There is a €38,000 up front cost associated with importing 1000 cases of wine, which makes the Irish market challenging. In Spain the excise rate on wine is zero.”
Michael Foley, Chairman of the Irish Wine Association and Marketing Director at Findlater Wine & Spirits also called for excise reduction: “The message coming from the wine industry today is clear: reverse excise increases and support thousands of small businesses and jobs across the industry. [...] Excise on wine is totally out of line with our EU neighbours as exemplified by Sergio’s comments today and needs to be addressed.”
Mr. Foley also commented on the negative effects of Brexit, with a weak sterling encouraging cross-border shopping.
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