France’s big wine sector, shaken by U.S. Prez Trump’s painful tariff hikes and the specter of climate change, is hoping to re-energize international interest in its products with a big trade fair in Paris.
Two thousand wine producers — including giant Moet-Hennessy — are attracting around 30,000 French and worldwide visitors at the Vinexpo fair by Wednesday with a renewed focus on ecology and sustainability in addition to tech developments like robots.
They hope that shedding light on the trade’s advances, especially in environmental practices, will lure other countries to French wine and make up for the drop in exports to the U.S., where Trump imposed 25% in tariffs on numerous European products.
France is with Italy the biggest producer of wine in the world and has a number of prestigious brands that have helped outline the trade — from Champagne makers to producers in the Burgundy and Bordeaux areas.
However, it’s dealing with various challenges, from tariffs to changing consumer habits and global warming. French sales to the U.S. halved after the tariffs rolled out in October.
The three-day fair is a powerful event, with Moet-Hennessy hosting business movers and shakers to talk about ecology initiatives. It further revealed new details on plans to develop a 20 million-euro sustainability research facility in Champagne, and its dedication to stop all types of herbicides by the end of this 12 months.
Moet-Hennessy’s chief executive Philippe Schaus struck an upbeat tone regardless of the U.S. duties, which have been imposed as part of a broader trade dispute between the U.S. and EU over the aerospace sector.