French wine producers could be facing a tax rise to bring it in line with other categories

French wine producers could be facing a tax rise to bring it in line with other categories

Plans for tough new laws on France's wine sector – including raising taxes and stricter health warnings on bottles – should be abandoned, a trade group has argued.

Vin and Societe, which represents around 500,000 people working in the country's wine sector, has launched a campaign calling on the Government to scrap the plans, expected to be included in a new public health bill later this year. The body has highlighted that wine consumption in France has fallen by 20% in the last ten years.

The proposed measures include: banning “positive” talk around wine in the French media; raising taxes to a similar level of other alcoholic drinks, and tougher health warnings on wine bottles. 

Vin and Societe has also urged France's Prime Minister and President to consider setting-up an inter-governmental body to establish a “meaningful dialogue” with the industry.

Joel Forgeau, the trade group's president, said: “What image are we trying to send to the 31m French who taste wine reasonably with friends or family? What signal are we sending to the world about a symbol of our lifestyle and country?” 

He added: “We believe that only focusing on education, reason, and responsibility are we able to fight against the excesses in all sectors.” 

Since 1991, France has operated a ban on alcohol advertising on TV and in cinemas through a law known as Loi Evin, or the Evin law.