World wine traders sign accord on fighting counterfeits

Eight countries have signed up to an initiative to share information and technical expertise on wine counterfeiting.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) – which will be facilitated by industry organization the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) – will try to encourage some of the world's biggest wine producers to work more closely on "the sharing of information about suspected fraudulent or counterfeit product…including information to help assess and quantify the impacts of trade in counterfeit wines produced in WWTG countries."

Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Georgia, New Zealand, South Africa and the US have signed up to the accord, which also seeks cooperation on the identification of counterfeiting practices and sharing of new policy developments that affect the fight against the fake wine trade.

Sources have suggests that as much of 20 per cent of fine wines sold in the market is fake – which itself would account for a $3bn illicit market without taking into account counterfeiting of more modest but higher volume brands. Last year, a report suggested that the EU's wine and spirit producers lose €1.3bn a year to counterfeits, impacting nearly 5,000 jobs.

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