Azerbaijani Wine Enterprises Warned to Improve Production Quality

Azerbaijan, Baku, 26 February / Trend corr. I.Khalilova / The Azerbaijani Agricultural Ministry has warned wine and alcohol companies which manufacture low quality products, Sabir Valiyev, head of the central seed and plant growing department at the Agricultural Ministry of Azerbaijan, stated.

As a result of monitoring held by the Ministry in January, violations were discovered. The operating licenses of approximately six wine manufacturing companies were cancelled in 2007. However, their licenses were later restored once the production quality improved. Valiyev noted that once again the same companies had violated the rules.These companies are operating in Baku and other regions of the country.

There have been occasions where manufacturers have denied their own productions. Valiyev said "There are some companies which manufacture production under label of another company. The Ministry is taking measures to prevent such cases".

From the beginning of 2007, the Agricultural Ministry will monitor the wine and alcohol companies. If low quality production is revealed, the Ministry will send the product to the Degustation Commission at the Ministry for verification. The Ministry will make the decision on close down any companies that violate the system. The monitoring group includes representatives from five Ministries in the country.

About 40 enterprises function in the country and preference is given to wine manufacturing enterprises which meet international standards.

In 2007, about 1.6bln litres of alcohol and 70,000 litres of wine was manufactured in Azerbaijan. About 150,000 litres of alcohol, was imported to Azerbaijan.

There is a demand for 2mln litres in Azerbaijan per year. Presently, alcohol is imported to the country from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, and wine is imported from Europe. Today, Azerbaijani enterprises are able to meet the total alcohol demands in the country as well as 10 other countries. Therefore, there is a need to reduce the import of alcohol into the country," the Ministry representative believes.

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