Champagne Growers Take to the Streets

The Ideal Wine Company has learned that Champagne growers recently took to the streets to protest the introduction of social charges.

Growing Champagne Grapes is an Exclusive Game

As part of our efforts to bring you the most luxurious vintages at a price that won’t break the bank, the Ideal Wine Company stocks a number of Champagnes. It’s probably the most decadent drink the world has ever known.

In part, that is because of the exclusivity of champagne. It can’t be produced by just anyone. There are certain specifications you need to fulfil to gain permission to grow the grapes necessary for a bottle of champagne. One is that your vineyard must reside in the Champagne region of France.

The Introduction of Social Charges

That is why it is so important that according to Decanter.com, roughly 1,500 producers and growers of champagne joined farmers unions in Chalons-en-Champagne for a protest recently.

The reason champagne growers and producers chose to join the protest was the introduction social charges. In general, French vineyard owners have been exempt from the rule specifying that temporary harvest workers need to be paid social charges, since 2001. Recently however, parliament chose to put a stop to this exemption, sparking protests across France.

Damaging the Champagne Industry

Many are suggesting that the charges are simply more than the Champagne industry can afford. Benoit Tarlant, owner of an eponymous, Oeuilly-based Champagne house argued this point. He said that “Champagne employs 120,000 harvest workers, around a third of (wine) those across the whole country.”

He went on to elaborate, saying that “the government wants to take more money. It is absurd. There was already a huge increase in employers’ costs last year. If only this money was used well, but we don’t think it is.”

In other words, he is suggesting that the introduction of social charges for temporary harvest workers could damage the champagne industry. Considering its profitability, such a move could impact the French economy.

Redefining the Face of the French Champagne Industry

Whether this is a valid point or not remains to be seen; it’s hardly unusual for businesses to protest the introduction of new financial requirements. The fact that they went to the effort of taking to the streets, though, suggests that this is a move that could redefine the face of the French Champagne industry.

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