Is wine premiumisation a doom loop?

19 November 2019. Read more…


Why online trading is benefitting SA agriculture

19 November 2019. Today, farmers have access to technology such as the electronic sow feeding (ESF) system that incorporates mixed animal weighing technology aimed at precisely feeding each sow or gilt (identified via radio-frequency identification (RFID) patches) the right amount of feed at the right time. Read more…


South Africa struggles to manage wildlife ranching: Why it’s a problem

19 November 2019.

Over the past few decades, South Africa has seen a dramatic conversion from livestock or crop farming to wildlife ranching – known locally as game farming. But regulation hasn’t kept up with this growth. Read more…

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Drought threatens food security and collapse of industry

19 November 2019. Agri SA issued severe warnings at their drought press conference held recently. If the extreme drought conditions currently experienced continues, the rural economy could collapse, which can demolish South Africa’s entire agricultural industry. Read more…


Organic wines popular with the French

15 November 2019. The organic wine industry is now worth more than a billion euros in the French market and as much as 1.5 billion euros including exports. And revenue is expected to increase further due to strong demand. According to a survey commissioned by Agence Bio and conducted by OpinionWay, 48% of French people want to find more organic wines in their usual places of purchase. Super/hypermarkets have taken this on board and continue to broaden their range. Their involvement has been rewarded as this is where organic wine sales grew the most in 2018 (+23%), reaching nearly 200 million euros. The increase now places them on a par with wine merchants (202 million euros) and specialist stores (218 million euros). Direct-to-consumer sales post revenue of €435 million.

12% of vineyards are organic

Current demand is outstripping production. 94,000 ha of vines, or 12% of French vineyard area, are now farmed organically (certified + conversion), and to meet demand, switch-overs are increasing with a surge of 63% in 2018. “In Occitania, there were 2,138 organic wine firms in 2018, an increase of 18.6% in one year. Areas in the conversion phase have increased by 70%”, said Thierry Julien, chairman of France Vin Bio.

More and more switch-overs

In New Aquitaine, the number of organic firms reached 1,085 (+13%/2017) and areas converting to organic increased by 62%. In the Loire and Centre-Loire Valley, the number of firms totalled around 500 (+13%) and areas being converted to organic have risen by 50%.

Source: Vitisphere.

Comment: Accordong to the AAWE global organic vineyards stand at 403 000 ha (5.4% of global vineyards) reaching 545 000 ha by 2022. Spain (9%), Italy (10%) and Austria (11%) are the other leaders. Industry sources estimate South Africa at less than 2% (1 860 ha).