SA and UK go to war over wine

A trade war could be looming between South Africa and the United Kingdom. UK retailers have decided to import bulk wine from South Africa, then bottle it in the UK.

Trade and Industry says this poses a “serious risk” to the local wine sector which is a multi-million rand industry.

In the past two years, more than half of South Africa’s certified wine were exported in bulk. The UK now only wants to buy in bulk, saying it will be more cost-effective and more environmentally sound.

Trade and Industry fears it could spread to other sectors like fruit juice exports, and spirits, such as brandy. South Africa has already lost hundreds of jobs since the swing to bulk exports in 2006.

An option for South Africa is to consider importing whiskey in bulk from the UK. Annual whiskey imports amount to about one point seven billion rand.