Romania’s largest wine exporter, Cramele Recas, has responded to the threat of the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak in Europe by purchasing three ventilators and donating them to “Victor Babes” Infectious Diseases Hospital in Timisoara, Western Romania.
Commercial Director Philip Cox says, “We have been proud to make Timisoara our home for the last 22 years. During this uncertain and scary time for everyone around the world, we want to do as much as we can to help and believe that any contribution can make a major difference.”
Cox, has laid out a number of challenges that wineries need to overcome in the midst of the outbreak as Covid-19 continues to disrupt everyday life.
Commercially, Cramele Recas does not depend entirely on the Spanish or Italian markets for export. For Cramele Recas, countries where a high proportion of wine is sold in supermarkets are performing well, in light of the circumstances, e.g. Germany, Japan and the Netherlands. Regarding the UK, the situation is more muddled: supermarkets are doing well, with new listings in Co-op and Waitrose, however the on-trade has been brought to a halt by the Government restrictions.
Logistically, there has been a number of issues as each country has adopted differing measures around how closed their borders are – causing huge confusion to border police and transporters. Cox warns that there could be a risk of low stocks for countries who import a lot of their food and other goods, such as the UK and Romania.
Coronovirus also poses a threat to the number of vineyard workers available. Cramele Recas relies on a number workers to perform the critical spring work in the vineyards. It has become extremely difficult for workers to travel to Romania from Western Europe due to most borders being closed to passenger traffic. In response, Cramele Recas has brought 70 workers from Vietnam to work in their vineyards.
The novel coronavirus which has devastated many communities around the world has taken hold in Europe, where the epicentre of the virus is now located. Romania has logged upwards of 367 cases of coronavirus and the country declared a state of emergency on March 16.