French Wine Boycott 'Successful'

By Pullar-Strecker, Tom | The Independent (London, England), February 4, 1996 | Go to article overview
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French Wine Boycott 'Successful'


Pullar-Strecker, Tom, The Independent (London, England)


THE French wine boycott enacted last summer, which left bottles of claret and champagne on supermarket shelves as a mark of protest against the country's nuclear tests in the Pacific, appears to have paid off. Imports of French wine into Britain have been hard hit in the past year, according to official figures, and champagne imports have dropped by as much as a third.

Boycotts of French goods began across the world last June, when President Jacques Chirac announced that France would resume nuclear testing at Mururoa atoll in the Pacific. In Britain, France's most valued export market for wine, protest groups asked shoppers to opt for wines other than those from France.

Figures released by the Government's statistical service covering the third quarter of 1995 show that the volume of still wine imported into Britain from France fell dramatically, from just over 74 million litres in summer 1994 to just over 54 million litres last summer, while imports of sparkling wine fell from 6 million litres to 4 million. French imports of still wine amounted to 30 per cent of wine imports into Britain by volume between July and September 1995, down from 33.4 per cent in the same period in 1994. In the 18 months prior to the protests, the share of French wine imports averaged 35.

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