The University of Castilla-La Mancha has organized a round table with the participation of politicians, wineries, and cooperatives in order to undertake the future of the sector
The main topic of one of the last activities to take place at FENAVIN 2011 has been the future challenges that the wine sector faces. The full professor, Juan Sebastián Castillo Valero, has moderated the round table, organized by the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM), and the point of view of a diversity of figures has also been validated at this round table. Among them the member of parliament Antonio Salinas in representation of the politicians, winery owners such as Alfonso Monsalve, Managing Director of the winery Vinícola de Castilla, cooperatives, represented by Ángel Villafranca, President of the UCAMAN (Union of Castilla-La Mancha Cooperatives) and of BACO and the Administration, represented by Francisco Martínez Arroyo, Director General of Agricultural Production for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Government of Castilla-La Mancha. Despite their different roles in the sector, all of them have coincided on the fact that the great future challenge resides in increasing commercialization of Castellano-Manchego wines.
Antonio Salinas considers that "we are on the right track in order to confront the future, because there is great diversification of the vineyard, the winemaking industry is a modern and competitive one and we are opening the way in order to obtain shares on foreign markets, apart from the fact that R&D and innovation projects are also underway." Notwithstanding, the Member of Parliament for Castilla-La Mancha also points out that consumption must be increased, the offer must be reorganized, we must invest in human capital, maintain, and improve our promotional, and awareness campaigns, continue wagering on research and "above all, improve commercialization."
The winery owner Alfonso Monsalve is in complete agreement with this point of view, adding that "the greatest challenge of all resides in focusing all our efforts on commercialization at an adequate price. FENAVIN is one of the tools at our disposal to achieve this and we are extremely pleased with the fact that the trade fair is not only consolidated, but has become a great national reference of standard in the world of wine." He also underlined that "where there is more of a margin for improvement is in the work that the Administration carries out. The same which should be coordinated and, mainly, in our own work, as we have the good terroirs that are necessary and the media supports us, so now it is our turn to offer them all sorts of good things to talk about."
On his part, Ángel Villafranca, President of the UCAMAN, considers that "we must have the necessary structures in order to commercialize. In Castilla-La Mancha we know a lot about wine, but we have 220 cooperatives at a regional level, which gives rise to a tremendous diversification in the offer, therefore, one of our particular challenges resides in forming important associations of cooperatives that are capable of structuring the sector." He also considers that we must learn to adapt to the tastes of the consumers and we must be capable of reaching the consumers, hence the reason why structuring of the promotional activities is also necessary.
In this sense, Francisco Martínez Arroyo, Director General of Agricultural Production for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Government of Castilla-La Mancha, has stressed that "currently in Castilla-La Mancha we have become the leading community in investments to promote our wines outside of the European Union. We count with a fine vineyard and the wineries are making an exceptional effort in research, however, our problem still resides in commercialization." Martínez Arroyo esteems that we are parting from a position of competitive advantage, due to the excellent quality-price ratio of the Manchego wines, "but we must invest in knowledge and we must adapt to the tastes of the consumers and, finally, all of this must work in favor of the weaker link, the farmer, so that they can gain in profitability."