Grapevine & Wine 14/09/2014

Counterfeiting in the wine sector, growing phenomenon but without statistical

The report comes from France with a voluminous paper prepared by Eric Przyswa. The real risk for the future is represented by China, where today 25% are counterfeit bottles of high-end European

Counterfeiting affects not only Italy and France.

For Eric Przyswa, author of the report "The Contrefacon sur le marche des vin et spirituex," is difficult to quantify the actual turnover of the underworld also because there are no official data and existing databases, even if protected and accessible only by public officials are just national.

But the estimates point to a growing phenomenon. Already today a European wine on four high-end is counterfeit in China. A worrying if you think that, in a few years, just the Asian country could become the world's largest consumer of wine. In 2013 would be 60,000 Chinese in jail accused or convicted of adulteration, counterfeiting or adulteration of food.

But you are wrong if you believe that the phenomenon of counterfeit alcoholic beverages only concerns China. According to a PWC survey, in 2013 18% of British admitted to having bought some bottles of liquor with fake brands. The percentage rises to 28% if we refer to the age group 18-34 years.

A chapter of the report Eric Przyswa it also devotes Italy by estimating a loss of revenue due to counterfeit wine to 2 billion euro per year. The total turnover of the EU wine sector is 13.5 billion euro. Of these two billion euro lost 830 million would be caused by illegal in the USA, 400 million euro in Asia and the remainder in the rest of the world.

The problem is not only of an economic nature, although serious. It would also have an impact on public health if you think that 12,000 people died in Russia after drinking bottles of counterfeit alcohol.

Of course, the most important brands in particular, have started to use tools anti-counterfeiting holograms codes tracking, the RFID (radio frequency identification). Their usefulness and effectiveness, however, is doubtful.

In the end the main problem is to have adequate international standards to combat counterfeiting. Already there is a rule, the ISO 12931, which defines the standard anti-counterfeiting, but it is not enough.

A very uphill path and for this reason the study center McKinsey has estimated that the world's leading brands, not only agri-food, invest more and more in anti-counterfeiting technologies. It will grow from $ 57 billion a year to $ 142 billion in 2020.

di Graziano Alderighi

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