Canada is confirmed as the fifth export market for Italian wine after the United States, Germany, the UK, and Switzerland. In 2017, according to latest Ismea figures total sales reached 333 million euro, with a 9% increase in volume compared to 2016. But how much is this market destined to grow in the light of CETA, the free trade agreement ratified last year between Canada and the European Union? At Vinitaly 2018, the Alleanza Cooperative Agroalimentari (Alliance of Italian Agrifood Cooperatives) asked its member wineries that are present in the Canadian market. According to the sales data of our wineries – explains Ruenza Santandrea, Wine Coordinator of the Alliance of Italian Agrifood Cooperatives – there is still no significant increase in exports to date. This is because Canada is dominated by two monopolies, Quebec and Ontario, which import wines and distribute them on the domestic market. The abolition of duties, from which the monopolies directly benefit, will enable them to bring lower-priced wines to the market while keeping their margins intact, since the system of monopolies is used by the Canadian Government to cover health costs. As soon as Italian wines are cheaper, we could realistically have, as an indirect effect, a medium-long term increase in Canadian consumers demand. In this sense – concludes Santandrea – it will be essential to continue working so that, even in the presence of a partially closed market, the quotas of wine imports dedicated to Europe are progressively increased.
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