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Wine War: South Africa threatens to hit back


Wine wars: South Africa threatens to hit back over British supermarkets move
Tesco and Sainsbury’s have cut costs by importing some of the country’s wine in huge containers
South Africa is threatening to hit back over Britain importing its wine in bulk rather than in bottles, claiming it has cost 700 jobs.
Tesco and Sainsbury’s cut costs by importing some of the country’s wine in huge containers before it is bottled in the UK.
But South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry has warned: “South Africa does have a responsibility to protect its trade interests. Our view is that this is a serious risk to the South African wine industry.
“Why shouldn’t South Africa be importing bulk whisky from the UK and bottling it locally, so that we can at least attempt to prevent some of the job losses that we’ve seen up to now spreading to other parts of the economy?”
Last year, it imported £128.5million of whisky and exported £75million of wine.
British supermarkets defended their switch from bottles saying bulk buying in containers made the wine cheaper for UK shoppers.
Tesco said: “We buy less than a quarter of our South African wine in bulk.
"It helps to keep the cost down for our customers and also lowers the carbon footprint of the product by reducing the need to transport large quantities of glass to the UK.”
Sainsbury’s said it was a “huge supporter” of South African products spending £200 million in the country each year.
A spokesman added: “Buying wine in bulk doesn’t reduce the quality of the wine and is common across wine producing countries.”
The Mirror

 

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