France’s GDP plunged 13.8 percent in April-June 2020, reflecting the effect of the coronavirus outbreak and related health crisis, the statistics agency INSEE reported earlier.
Champagne producers are facing an unprecedented crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic.
France’s eastern Champagne region wine producers lost around 1.7 billion euros this year, as turnover fell by a third, according to ABC News.
The demand for sparkling wine, without which it is difficult to imagine weddings, anniversaries and other holidays, fell due to the introduction of restrictive measures. Mass gatherings were banned, and restaurants and bars were closed for a long time.
By the end of the year, producers assume about 100 million bottles will remain unsold.
To keep prices from falling and to regulate demand, the Champagne Committee has begun negotiations with producers on harvest standards. In practice, this means that some of the grapes will be disposed of as waste.
“We are experiencing a crisis that we evaluate to be even worse than the Great Depression [of 1929],” Thibaut Le Mailloux, from the Champagne Committee said.
Due to the crisis, champagne producers turned to the government for help. This applies, in particular, to the provision of loans against state guarantees and exemption from a number of social taxes.