The French state should help to raise awareness of wines made from organically grown grapes, a wine-growers' association has claimed.
Patrick Guiraud, the president of Sudvinbio, the association for organic wine growers in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, called on the government to run campaigns in favor of organic wines.
"We have increased our production like you asked us to," said Guiraud. "Now, we need consumers, because however much you say you want organic wines, if there are no customers we will go to the wall."
Between 2007 and 2010, the number of French producers making wine made from organic grapes doubled from 1,907 estates to 3,945. Approximately two-thirds of all organic producers are based in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, according to Agence Bio, the French agency for the development of biodynamic agriculture.
Sudvinbio explained that local growers, winemakers and merchants don't have the means to run public awareness campaigns. “We would like larger groups, like the regional governments and especially the state, to run publicity campaigns aimed at the consumer,” said Guiraud.
Organic grape growers believe that awareness campaigns could have several angles, including the reduced impact on the environment, water efficiency, food security, and the "social" role of organic wine. According to Guiraud, organic grape production requires double the number of man hours used in conventional farming.
“We represent 10 percent of the total vineyard area in the Languedoc-Roussillon, but 20 percent of the employees," he explained.
Guiraud has demanded a meeting with Socialist politician Christian Bourquin, the president of the Languedoc-Roussillon regional council, to ask for assistance, and will also request a meeting with the minister of agriculture.