From paper to soil: the impact of new EU alcoholic drinks labeling regulations for wine regions

Eva Parga-Dans, Pablo Alonso González

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This opinion article addresses the implications of recent EU regulations on alcoholic drinks labeling for regional development. In March 2017, the European Commission released a report requiring the mandatory labeling of ingredients and nutritional information for alcoholic beverages within 1 year, putting an end to the exceptionality of this sector compared to other foodstuffs, and responding to pressing demands by European consumer associations and other actors. Pressure from the alcohol sector had delayed EU legislation on the matter and managed to avoid a mandatory labeling provision, instead generating the possibility of making its own regulation proposal within a year. The Commission will assess this proposal in March 2018 and could review or reject it if found to be unsatisfactory. Here, we want to examine the controversy elicited by this new regulation, analyzing the consequences of labeling (or not) in the particular case of wine regions. It shows how the lack of labeling regulations harms winemakers oriented towards the production of quality wines and generates important information asymmetries that can lead to an overall decrease of wine quality. Ultimately, it highlights the relevance of a regional perspective on EU sectoral policies, as these can have unintended effects and lead to contradictory outcomes. The example of wine regions is used to emphasize this issue by showing the need to harmonize regional cohesion and CAP policies with industrial, environmental and consumer protection policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalJournal fur Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Consumer culture
  • European Union
  • Food safety
  • Labeling regulations
  • Terroir
  • Wine sector

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