The Ministry of Primary Industries is reviewing part of the Wine Act 2003 to improve the export wine industry, Minister of Food Safety David Bennett says.

“Ministry of Primary Industries is currently reviewing export requirements under the Wine Act 2003 to discover ways it can better serve the $1.6 billion export industry,” says Mr Bennett.

“The Wine Act has served us well, but it is over a decade old so we needed to make some tweaks to it.”

Grape wine is New Zealand’s sixth largest export commodity – exporting to over 90 countries and valued at $1.6 billion. There are 35,000 hectares of productive vineyards in New Zealand.

“Key requirements in the current export framework are over a decade old, and some parts of the industry have evolved significantly over that period.

“It was time to look at how we can rework part of the legislation to be effective in 2017’s economy.”

The review is part of MPI’s Wine Assurance Programme, which supports the wine industry. The programme provides technical advice on the safety and suitability requirements for production, processing, and sale of wine, gaining and maintaining market access, providing official government assurances for wine exports and contributing to the development of international wine standards and agreements.

“We are currently in the information gathering stage, and welcome feedback on what you believe is imperative for effective export regulations,” Mr Bennett says.

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