"Wines of Macedonia" presents strategy up to 2020

By 2020, at least 50 percent of the total amount of exported wines will be bottled and the value should rise by at least 45 percent, expects association "Wines of Macedonia", which celebrated its 5. anniversary on Tuesday.

The strategic plan 2015-2020 targets markets in Europe (UK, Germany, Benelux, Denmark, Russia), the United States, Canada, and Asia (China and Japan).

The strategy also stipulates support for the sector, including development of vine growing, joint marketing and promotion, building the brand and image of Macedonian wines at regional and international markets.

"Macedonia has made a huge step forward in the last decade by producing world-class wines, which now need to sell. This requires good marketing, joint distribution and promotion at the largest fairs", said Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy Mihail Cvetkov at the session.

According to him, the state has allocated EUR 500,000 in support for joint distribution of wineries at markets in Germany, Russia, China, United States etc.

"We need to join forces in order to be more competitive, including increased production and quality", said Cvetkov.

"Wines of Macedonia" president Gjorgji Petrusev said wineries Tikves, Skovin, Stobi, Bovin, Dalvina, Kamnik, Dudin, Ezimit, Popov and Rigo Impex found mutual interest five years ago and realized that the challenge is not promotion of individual wineries, but Macedonia's joint promotion as a wine country.

"We didn't believe in such enormous progress. Five years later, I can say we are on the right path, we have a solid foundation supported by all relevant institutions", said Petrusev.

"Wines of Macedonia" board chairman Svetozar Janevski said the association was created with the vision of making Macedonia visible on the global wine map and the leading wine country in Southeast Europe.

Minister Cvetkov voiced expectation that wineries would pay the vine growers in the legal timeframe.

"The quota for export of bottled wine in the amount of 91000 hectoliters was met for the first time last year. We expect the same in 2014, taking into consideration that 35 percent of the quota has been met in the first four months of the year. Therefore, I am an optimist that wineries will have the funds for the payment of grapes", Cvetkov told reporters.

According to the law, wineries are obliged to pay the vine growers within six months after purchase of the grapes. Otherwise, they will not get the purchase license for the next year.

Cvetkov said about 30 companies applied at the call for lease of Dzumajlija agriculture land, after the Government terminated the agreement with "Sahara India Pariwar" of businessman Subrata Roy in 2014, because the company violated the contract terms and conditions. The agriculture ministry has also activated the EUR 3 million bank guaranty.

"Bids are being reviewed and the call for lease of the land will be announced after selecting the best one", said Cvetkov.

The initial price for four lots totaling at 4435 hectares ranged between EUR 89000-102000 depending on the quality, location and size.