Seven hundred wineries, 800 brands in the Wine Gallery, 58 appellations and geographical indications and 15 000 square meters of exhibition area. These are a few figures from this third FENAVIN, the National Wine Fair.
At the Madrid Casino, De Lara was accompanied by Barreda and Marín amongst other famous wine makers and public figures.
"We are worried about wine, we take an interest in wine and all the people who live on it" . FENAVIN's president, Nemesio de Lara, thus justified at the Madrid Casino, before 200 mass media representatives and many wine makers and professionals, the onset, four years ago, of an event which has become the Spanish Wine Fair.
De Lara said the wine sector needs help because "we produce more wine than what we can consume and more than what we can sell, therefore we are subject to distillation". Likewise, he points out that every year there are 10 to 12 million hectoliters that are held back, thus we "suffer a clear structural surplus".
The National Wine Fair president, who prior to the ceremony welcomed the President of the Junta de Comunidades,(Committee of Autonomous Regions), José María Barreda, and the President of the Congreso de Diputados (House of Commons), Manuel Marín, amongst other public figures, said that the scene of the wine producer has changed so much that before "the proprietor of a vineyard would look at the sky, nowadays he looks at the French and Italian harvests". And he stated, with no hesitation, that "it will take a long time before we get used to producing quality wine".
Next he mentioned how wine consumption has decreased in the world and pointed out figures in Spain are alarmingly low. In the same way, he did not hesitate and stated that if consumption had remained at the 1970's level there would be no surpluses.
Before this hardly encouraging scene, De Lara, who confessed to be a positive thinker, offers three alternatives. On the one hand, he mentioned the preparation of vigorous institutional advertising campaigns and the need to develop the wine culture in such a way that it is perceived as more popular and less elitist. On the other hand, he believes in campaigns to spread the therapeutic properties of wine and how moderate consumption can be healthy. In the same way, he stressed how important it is to promote the product abroad, a task that must be performed with professionalism and dedication both in the private and public sector, he said.
Nemesio de Lara pointed out that FENAVIN, the first monographic wine fair in Spain, contributes to the application of these 3 alternatives as a definite commitment with the national product offering a wide range of types and qualities. And also, with the help of parallel activities where the best professionals in the world participate and promote the goodness of wine, present the last research techniques as well as the best promotional projects. Thirdly, the National Wine Fair president talked about the Business Center where foreign trade is facilitated.
Nemesio de Lara believes it is important to set goals and to work towards achieving them as he thinks the wine sector has to be aware of facts such as the European Union which will soon count on some 75 million inhabitants whose income will be growing. He also believes the Asian market is very important and the considerably increased consumption in Japan is of great interest.
In the same way, he thinks that the United States has a great growth potential. "over there the wine concept from a health point of view is establishing itself, and wine has become added value when having a meal" De Lara pointed out and he added that it is necessary to adapt the offer to the consumers' taste.
SPANISH WINE STRATEGIC PLAN
Accompanied by many members of the Provincial Corporation, 5 of them vice presidents, FENAVIN's president mentioned in Madrid the importance to encourage a possible moderate consumption by young people to the detriment of beer and distilled alcoholic beverages and to plan for a rational development of the sector.
Before focussing on the National Wine Fair contents for 2005, De Lara also expressed the need to prepare a Spanish Wine Strategic Plan and strategic plans for the wine sector' geographic areas.
"In 25 days we will be launching FENAVIN for the third time. The National Wine Fair will take place from 9th to 12th of May, and we are preparing it in a serious way, with love, professionalism, planning, perseverance, effort, desire to improve and self confidence" said De Lara who maintained that within those 15 000 square meters FENAVIN will accommodate wineries from the whole of Spain, 700 exhibitors will participate and 58 appellations and geographical indications will be represented.
Likewise he explained that the Wine Gallery is growing significantly as this year there will be 800 brands, the Business Center where over 400 international buyers and importers from 23 countries can operate, has been modernized. He highlighted that important groups like Waitrose will operate from FENAVIN. He expects that the 3 000 professional contacts which took place during FENAVIN 2003 will, this year, be exceeded.
Amongst the novelties for this year, he mentioned the development of Viticultural Innovation Room where 12 research and technological innovation programs developed in the European Union, South Africa and Australia, will be presented. Apart from this new initiative with which FENAVIN opens to the research field, there will be an intensive and varied activities program and many sectorial meetings and functions. "FENAVIN's consensus attitude is materialized in the signature of 12 cooperation agreements" De Lara highlighted.
Next the President of the Autonomous Region of Castilla - La Mancha, José María Barreda, spoke. He pointed out FENAVIN is a much needed fair. "It seems almost incredible that until four years ago such a fair did not exist in Spain or Castilla - La Mancha, the biggest wine producer of the country" he said.
Barreda stated how important for the Castilla - La Mancha region the wine sector is as vineyards represent 300 000 hectares. "It is the biggest vineyard in the world" said the regional president who also stressed the importance of the wine sector in the autonomous region economy and the society in general. This is why the regional government supports the state government in its negotiations regarding the Common Organisation of Agricultural Markets for wine.
"FENAVIN is a brilliant idea, a project which has already been carried out and has become a reference point for the sector and achieving this in such a short span of time shows how appropriate it is", said Barreda before pointing out that "if the approach had not been right, FENAVIN would not today be the national and international reference point it is now for all the sector".
On the other hand, Barreda stated how the globalization effect is very present in the wine sector as we can find this product as far as the antipodes, in Australia and New Zealand, "and in many other places where, up to now, this crop was not part of their social, economic and productive life". And now we have to compete with them.
"If we make good wine, why do we not sell it well, we produce excellent wine, good value for money, so now we have to make the effort to sell it well, and we must unite in this endeavor". Saying this Barreda wants the sector to support the commercialization of the product and mentioned the role the Fundación Castilla-La Mancha Tierra de Viñedos (Castilla - La Mancha, Land of vineyards Foundation) has to play. "We have to be present on International markets and a trade show like FENAVIN is a great help and this is why, just like the president of Castilla - La Mancha, I welcome this initiative" Barreda said and also supported the construction of a new Trade Show Center in Ciudad Real.
Many public figures participated in FENAVIN's presentation. Apart from Barreda and Marín, also present were the General Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fernando Moraleda; the Regional Government Minister for Agriculture Mercedes Gómez and the Ciudad Real Mayor, Francisco Gil-Ortega amongst other members from the regional and national governments and senators.
PROMOTIONAL COMMERCIAL AND VIDEO
Manuel Juliá, director of the event, was in charge of FENAVIN's presentation which started with the broadcast of the commercial spot prepared by the organization to advertise the trade show at a national level. In the same way, a promotional video with all the novelties for this year at the National Wine Fair was shown explaining what FENAVIN has achieved in only four years: to become the Fair for Spanish Wine and one of the most prestigious in Europe.
The ceremony concluded with a cocktail prepared by Ferrán Adriá.