The President of FENAVIN, Nemesio de Lara, affirmed that the secret behind the trade fair is "not the desire to be better, but to be the best"
FENAVIN, the National Trade Fair on Wine, has opened its doors today and will continue through to the 14th of May. The Trade Fair Grounds in Ciudad Real are host to more than 1360 wineries that present their products to thousands of professionals and to more than 15,000 national and international buyers from 65 countries. This is a trade fair in which the focal point is called business, which is more than consolidated and which is capable, even within the context of the crisis, to continue being at the vanguard, offering another novelty at each edition, as is the case with "Fenavin Original Wine and Food" at this edition, coinciding with the eighth edition of this important monographic wine exhibition event that is organized by the only provincial government in the country that is completely free of debt.
This is something that has been mentioned several times during the inaugural speech, which has also counted with the outstanding presence of the President of Castilla-La Mancha, María Dolores de Cospedal, the President of the promoting institution and of FENAVIN, Nemesio de Lara, who has emphasized that this even represents an evident demonstration that a smaller sized administration can be useful to society and to an industry that is so powerful for the provincial economy as the wine growing industry.
De Lara has pointed out that FENAVIN sells itself, that it must not disappear and that the best possible guarantee to ensure its continuity is the stable inter-institute involvement, with Euros of course, and with less medals for the politicians and more useful tools for the industry, as well as stable private sponsorship.
De Lara has recalled the beginnings, which were indeed tough, and he has mentioned that the secret behind it all was to follow the same road map from the very beginning: "Precise definition of goals, meticulous planning, professionalism, effort, usefulness for the client, be the same the winemaker, as behind a winemaker there is always the effort of the vine grower, be the same the buyer, and always choosing a magnificent organizational team". All of this can be summed up in "not the desire to be better, but to be the best".
FENAVIN, by way of its tremendous catalog of programmed activities, also serves as a platform for profound thought on the present and future of wine, the same with both realism and harshness. The latter, according to De Lara, because the current problems and future threats are confronted much better if we are aware of them and undertake them, although in the last few decades Spanish wines and, in particular, wines from Castilla-La Mancha, have reached an exceptional category, which is reason for "great satisfaction and sincere pride".
Notwithstanding he also commented that we must not always dwell on the distinctions as this does not really lead anywhere. "That a liter of wine was selling in Castilla-La Mancha at an average price of 0.53 €/L in the year 2014, when in the year 2000 it stood at 0.73 €/L or that many farmers sold their grapes in the last harvest at the same price as they were twenty-five years ago backs up what I am saying", he indicated to then forecast that "anxiety such as that of the year 2013 and its record harvest will again take place". He also added, that in this sense, "the safety net of bulk wine will continue to be necessary for a long time, although the safety nets, apart from helping others, outside of Spain, to take advantage of them without having to actually work for it, end up wearing out and becoming insecure in view of the extreme global competition".
"If the model we want is to produce more and more and more, more trellis, more irrigated vine, more and more, well, let"s just say it openly and not confuse the farmer, who is the one that is actually putting his work on the line", sentenced De Lara to then comment during his intervention that between the year 2000, year prior to FENAVIN and the year 2014, export figures have grown 150% in Spain and 350% in Castilla-La Mancha.
De Lara considers that concentrating energies around quality and a brand that works would be far more operative. He also believes that the farmer or the winemaker must be convinced that producing more does not necessarily mean gaining more, because we must try to produce and elaborate better, above all because the effort made in investment and modernizing of the wineries and cooperatives has been enormous. And once this step has been taken, in De Lara"s opinion, what has to be done is to delve deeply into the policies of international commercialization, training or contracting; to have better specialists in this field now represents the best possible investment.
"I am no expert in this matter, although I would dare to say that what politicians should do is stop insulting each other election after election when we are talking about something as serious as wine", the President of FENAVIN underscored to then immediately request a convergence "in the common and exclusive criteria that we all accept that wine is nourishment, that wine is a healthy drink when consumed in moderation". And we must remember that the next step is to sustain intelligent public campaigns, aggressive campaigns and, above all, sustained campaigns that promote its moderate consumption, in particular among young people.
The President of the Regional Government, María Dolores de Cospedal has classified FENAVIN as "a marvelous trade fair that festoons Ciudad Real". She has congratulated the winemakers, the cooperatives and the producers for the "enormous effort" they have made to improve quality, and she has encouraged them to make many commercial transactions, finally thanking the Provincial Government "and all the institutions that are involved" in the celebration of the trade fair.
Cospedal has considered that holding the National Trade Fair on Wine is a very positive thing because Castilla-La Mancha is a land of wine, the greatest vineyard in the world, where 21 and a half million hectoliters of wine are produced. Notwithstanding, she also indicated that we must continue wagering on quality and not only on quantity.
Although she has highlighted the increase in wine exports in the autonomous community, she also commented on the fact that the quality wines produced in the region must be made known. Hence the reason why we must wager on commercialization. In this sense she highlighted the quality wine brand that the regional government has promoted, as well as the creation of the first School of Enologists in Spain.
Cospedal believes that internationalization is the key to the future of the wine industry, hence the reason she explained that they have promoted 500 different actions to encourage consumption of wine abroad and also in the Central European countries, adding that they have helped to modernize cooperatives and wineries.
On his part the Director of the trade fair, Manuel Juliá, summarized what FENAVIN is from a technical point of view in five ideas. He said that Spanish wine is like Spain, rich, diverse, complex and contradictory, sometimes. He also commented that Spain has in Ciudad Real a trade fair on Spanish wine, FENAVIN, that is an absolute referent and that this is being said by the most prestigious and specialized magazines and by the most recognized experts, as well as by the national media. He also added that even the sector is saying the same thing, because the data is absolutely categorical. Not in vain there are 1361 wineries present at the trade fair, with another 300 on the waiting list and 800 international buyers from 65 countries, "as well as a cautious estimate of 1200 buyers that are coming in on their own". According to Juliá, all the regions of Spain are present at FENAVIN.
The Director of the trade fair also mentioned that FENAVIN is an example of the success of ideas over reality. And that the reality was that there was no business, therefore, we had to work on inventing it and it was from that perspective that two technical principles were conceived, that there would be business, hence the demand had to be boosted, and a change to the classic system behind all trade fairs, that the buyer had to be taken into account and had to be indulged and pampered.
Another technical appreciation that Juliá made is that FENAVIN represents the piston behind development. He also added that there is a budget of 3,300,000 Euros, of which 2 million Euros are aimed at creating 22,000 square meters of trade fair grounds, which must be fitted out like a pavilion. Even so, Juliá considers that the trade fair is profitable, that it is productive for this land because it attracts and captures foreign money that is evaluated in an important amount of millions.
On the other part Juliá also specified that FENAVIN has a bearing on the structural problems of Spanish wine and that it is a dream come true. "It may be reason to believe that in this life it is possible for dreams to come true and today, at this eighth edition, with my heart pumping at a million miles an hour, this dream has come to be even more true than ever", concluded the Director of FENAVIN.
The Mayor of Ciudad Real, Rosa Romero, on her part made a speech that recurred to Miguel de Cervantes and his most universal character, Alonso Quijano, to sing the praises of what wine has represented for this land since time immemorial. She has assured that Ciudad Real is the city of wine and of El Quixote and she has invited the exhibitors and buyers that have come in from all over Spain and from beyond our borders to enjoy the city that is host to the National Trade Fair on Wine.
"Due to its history this capital city is forever coupled with wine, as our deepest roots are intertwined because we have the greatest vineyard in Europe. And wine continues to be the flagship of this land"s exports", Romero said, admitting that she is a devoted lover and firm defender of wine and of its moderate consumption. She has also shown her "firm commitment and support to as many initiatives as are made to help the wine industry".