Wines of South Africa have said that the country's wine industry will unite to take advantage of the south African EU trade pact that will see duty free concessions for the wine industry.
Early this year the South Africans and the EU agreed a deal that allows South Africa to currently export 42m litres of bottled wine a year, free of customs tariffs into the EU, a quantity that will increase 3% every year.

However Wines of South Africa (WOSA) have said that the way in which the customs duty exemption was currently structured did not directly benefit the wine industry, its producers or its workers.

"The tax exemption is realised in the EU by the importer who is either the South African exporter's agent or the retailer. There is a real risk that this exemption could result in the savings from the duty merely contributing to the improved profitability of importers or retailers, which was not the intention behind the agreement," said WOSA boss Su Birch.

Birch said that the real issue lay in the need to improve the profitability of the local wine industry if South Africa is to remain competitive on the global market.