In the presence of the Vice-President of the OIV, Yves Bénard, and on behalf of the President, Claudia Quini, the Director General of the OIV, Jean-Marie Aurand, announced the Organisation's commitments for 2015 to representatives from the Diplomatic Corps, and from authorities and professionals within the vitivinicultural sector.
Mr Aurand summarised the events of 2014, his first year in office, highlighting the fact that "the OIV family has expanded, with the addition of our newest Member State, Armenia, which joined the organisation after Azerbaijan in 2013 and India in 2012. This growth shows that our Organisation is attractive and has a great image". Expressing his desire to negotiate more new memberships in 2015, the Director General reminded attendees that "our Member States currently represent almost 85% of global wine production and 80% of global wine consumption".
Jean-Marie Aurand then paid tribute to the success of the 37th World Congress of Vine and Wine, which took place in November 2014, in Mendoza, Argentina, calling it "a memorable congress, which boasted more than 1000 participants and in which more than 500 scientific papers were presented". The General Assembly of the OIV also formally adopted the 2015-2019 Strategic Plan, the Organisation's roadmap for the next five years. "This plan takes into consideration major developments in the vitivinicultural sector: an increasingly globalised and internationalised market (2 out of every 5 bottles of wine consumed globally are imported), growing competition and new expectations from consumers and the general public", the Director General explained.
In this context, "it is important to identify good practices and rules that preserve the stability and quality of products in order to ensure fair trade and to respond to consumer expectations in terms of product quality, health protection and transparency. This strategic plan also tackles new issues such as the impact of climate change and the promotion of sustainable viticulture" [2015-2019 Strategic Plan].
Another highlight identified by Jean-Marie Aurand concerned "efforts to improve and modernize the operation of the Organization. For example, OIV experts can now, for the first time, disseminate their presentations and studies via a scientific publisher, [OIV-EDP Sciences], while communications and presentations are being enhanced by the use of statistical data from the vitivinicultural sector".
The Director General of the OIV also reminded attendees that 2015 will see the election of a new president of the Organization, as well as new commission and sub-commission presidents, in Mainz, Germany, where the next OIV congress will take place on July 5th - 10th. He noted that the call for scientific papers for the congress had been launched and promised to be a great success [38th World Congress of Vine and Wine]. He also announced the redesign of the OIV website and the modernization of its IT systems.
Finally, Jean-Marie Aurand welcomed the experts who will be attending the upcoming meetings in Paris in April to implement the 2015 work program, which he said promises to be rich and ambitious. He underlined the quality of their work and thanked them for their active involvement.