Let's drink some Georgian wine!07.03.2013 | 10:51
Georgian wine and mineral water producers were allowed to return to Russia. This was announced by the head of the Rospotrebnadzor Gennady Onishchenko. In the first stage, Russian experts have checked the enterprises for the production of wines and spirits. The next step is inspection of final products. What do the managers of wine companies think about this and are there provisions to satisfy the needs of Russian consumers?
36 Georgian companies producing wine and spirits, as well as four companies producing mineral water, have received permission to import goods into the territory of Russia. Only one company has not met the requirements. This was announced by the head of the Rospotrebnadzor Gennady Onishchenko. Russian experts will continue the inspection of enterprises, since in total 93 companies have submitted applications, but the Russian experts had no time check out all of them.
Companies producing Georgian wine are happy with the decision taken by the Russian Federation on the restoration of the supply of Georgian wine to Russia. The managers of the wine companies say they have provisions to increase production volume and thereby to keep existing markets and at the same time to return to Russia.
"Our company is mainly focused on exports", director of "Tbilvino" George Margvelashvili said in an interview with GeorgiaTimes. "We supply products to the markets of 30 countries. During 4 years we have been occupying first place in Georgia in terms of wine export. The opening of the Russian market is very important for us. We have passed the first stage, required to return the goods to the Russian market. Rospotrebnadzor experts visiting Georgia have checked our businesses and made a positive decision.
- What are the next steps?
- The next step is examination of quality of our products, which is called "the procedure of state registration". Since Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have joined the customs union, this procedure is mandatory for the goods of any country. We need to get permission to cross the border of the customs union.
- The opening of the Russian market. What can it give your company? Or maybe it will create some problems?
- I think this is a very important event for Georgia clearing the way to the largest market with the largest area of marketing. Georgian wine is well-known in Russia. Despite the fact that this is certainly positive decision, it implies some risks. But if you weigh all the "pros" and "cons", the positive is definitely more. Of course, it's difficult to say how much profit it will bring the Georgian wine producers. This can be judged only after the product hits the market, we start sale and we see the demand.
- What were the main directions of your exports prior to the opening of the Russian market?
- These are the countries of the former Soviet Union, such as Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Baltic states, Armenia and Azerbaijan, European states, as well as Asia, such as China. We are supplying products to the American continent - to the United States and Mexico.
The head of one of the largest companies for the production of wine in Georgia "Badagoni" George Salakaia also welcomes the return of wine to Russia.
"I can assess this only positively. We are very pleased that this decision was taken", Salakaia said in an interview to Georgia Times. "Of course we are able to increase production volume. We also consider the Russian market an opportunity to promote our products. Russia is traditional market for us, and it will be relatively easy to supply our products there since Russian consumers are familiar with Georgian wine and remember the name of Georgian wines.
- How much do you plan to increase the wine production?
- This will depend on the market. First year is the most important in this sense. At the initial stage, we are ready to supply to Russia 30% of our products, which is about 800,000 bottles. Then it will be necessary to make additional investments to further increase production.
- Which countries are the consumers of your products today?
- 18 countries of the world. This is Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, and Eastern Europe countries. Now we are developing markets in Japan and China.
Along with the wine to the Russian market returns Georgian mineral water and brandy. One of the most famous producers of cognac is the company "Sarajishvili" producing this alcoholic beverage since 1884.
"This decision was made possible after the Russian experts have checked our enterprises", products quality director of "Sarajishvili" David Aptsiauri said in an interview with GeorgiaTimes. "We are ready to pass registration and resume supply of cognac to the shelves of Russian stores.
- Are you able to increase production in order to supply significant quantities of your drink to Russia?
- Of course it's possible. The capacities that we have are enough for the Russian market. If demand increases, then we increase production. We have provisions.
- In your opinion, how successful you are able to return to the Russian market? Do the Russians remember your cognac?
- Of course they do. Indeed, our cognac was very popular in Russia. They contacted to us and expressed regret at the termination of supplies.
- To which countries do you export products today?