Increasing Australia’s influence in market access, safety, regulatory and technical trade issues
Maintaining market access or opening markets for Australian wine, nationally and internationally, is facilitated by managing and reducing current and potential barriers to trade. The Australian wine industry needs to anticipate, facilitate and influence regulation of wine composition, production, labelling and marketing. The project team provides regulatory-related scientific and technical advice and assistance for the activities of key industry stakeholders. In addition, raising awareness of matters of concern to the Australian wine industry is achieved through representation at national and international industry forums.
Scientific and technical advice continues to be provided for a number of ongoing issues. One such issue in international regulatory forums is the occurrence and sources of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead and manganese in wine. Trace amounts of heavy metals naturally result from soil and groundwater taken up by vines but can be considered barriers to trade in certain export markets. Other market access issues that continue to be investigated include adverse allergenic reactions to wine, the analysis of allergens in wine and associated labelling in different export markets, as well as the concentration and sources of phthalates in wine. The AWRI’s databases of Analytical requirements for the export or Australian wine and Permitted additives and processing aids for winemaking and wine importing countries were updated regularly and now cover 43 and 22 individual countries respectively, in addition to information for regional trading blocs. Further information on technical support provided for regulatory issues can be found in the helpdesk section of this report.
The project team continued to participate at the Organisation International de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV) as members of the DAWR-led Australian delegation, together with a representative from WFA. During 2015/2016, comprehensive dossiers were prepared by the AWRI for DAWR, OIV and WFA on meta-tartaric acid, tannins and yeast mannoproteins. This followed a request for information and comments on the priority list of substances proposed by Australia for evaluation by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives for the 49th Session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives. Additional information was prepared to support the Australian-initiated draft resolutions and dossiers on dimethylpolysiloxane, potassium carbonate and protease enzymes presented to the OIV expert groups, since although these processing aids are permitted in Australia, they not yet permitted for winemaking under OIV regulations. In addition, numerous draft OIV proposals were reviewed through participation in the Microbiology, Technology, Specifications of Oenological Products, Food Safety and Consumption and Nutrition and Health expert groups and the Methods of Analysis Sub-commission.