Christmas toast at risk?

Are glass bottles missing? All the fault of a mix of not just factors: traffic jam in global supply chains, recovery in consumption after the major pandemic crisis, delays in production and higher prices for raw materials (starting with energy).

The surge in freight rates, the difficulty in land transport, the competition on containers were not enough. For some months now, wine producers in many parts of the world have also been facing a shortage of glass bottles. The alarm is raised from Argentina to Napa Valley and it is difficult to see a solution, in the short or long term. Because all the other problems listed above are associated with this deficiency: even the bottles must be transported. Furnaces in the western world are considered a highly polluting production and new plants are discouraged.

The “glass shortage” can paradoxically also have effects on the quality of the wine, according to Federvini. Many producers are forced to extend the aging times in wooden barrels. The risk, as he told the site Insider Business Phil Long, owner of Longevity Wines in Livermore California, is about having wines “that look like they came out of a sawmill”. “Paradoxes aside, the problem is serious – say from the Italian Federation of Industrial Producers, Exporters and Importers of Wines, Spirits, Spirits, Syrups, Vinegars, which is part of Confindustria – And the increase of all production costs sooner or later it could spill onto the shelf. It is also difficult to find labels, as well as corks: all goods that often remain in limbo for weeks, trapped in the massive traffic jams of container ships in international ports “.

Recently the Financial Times he said that at the St Augustine distillery in Florida, there are the equivalent of five thousand cases of vodka, gin, rum and whiskey patiently waiting for their container to be placed on the market. “An even worse case is that of Mexico, where it is impossible to find a container of Tequila. But lucky them who complain only about the lack of bottles. We also lack caps, cartons, labels and above all we have difficulty in finding the means and employees. for transport “says a Republic the president of Federvini, Micaela Pallini. “Sales agents report delays in the arrival of goods every day,” he adds. Is this, then, a serious alarm for Christmas? “A little alert. There has been a restart, ecommerce, although still in small volumes, has given a great hand. The problem, now, is getting deliveries to arrive”.

The increases of up to 500% of gas bring the artistic glass district of Murano to its knees, which is considered the visiting card of Venice in the world. In the sector, gas is an indispensable element: they consume millions of cubic meters, because the ovens must always be switched on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“It is a real disaster, unbelievable: there is no glass in China and we in Meda do not have the bottles for our products”: a few weeks ago the alarm came in the local newspapers from the Eugin Independent Distillery, an activity started by 3 years by the brothers Eugenio and Niccolò Belli with production of gin, and for some months also vodka, in Meda and a shop in Milan. “It is the first time that we have seen such a situation – says Eugenio – but also some of our suppliers who have been working for decades say that we have never seen something like this. We especially lack bottles because there is not enough glass, but the problems exist for everything related to packaging, therefore also caps, plastic and cardboard “.

Italian agri-food exports made a great recovery in 2021, but if the goods cannot be packaged to be shipped and sold, the problem is obvious.


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