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France to spend €200m destroying wine as demand falls

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The French government is allocating €200m (£171.6m) to destroy surplus wine and support producers.

It comes amid a cocktail of problems for the industry, including a falling demand for wine as more people drink craft beer.

Overproduction and the cost of living crisis are also hitting the industry.

Most of the €200m will be used to buy excess stock, with the alcohol sold for use in items such as hand sanitiser, cleaning products and perfume.

In a bid to cut back on the overproduction, money will also be available for winegrowers to change to other products, such as olives.

In funnelling the money into the industry, the French government aims to stop “prices collapsing… so that wine-makers can find sources of revenue again”, Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau said.

Despite the financial help – an initial EU fund of €160m which the French government topped up to €200m – the wine industry needs to “look to the future, think about consumer changes … and adapt”, he added.

European Commission data for the year to June shows that wine consumption has fallen 7% in Italy, 10% in Spain, 15% in France, 22% in Germany and 34% in Portugal, while wine production across the bloc – the world’s biggest wine-making area – rose 4%.

(BBC News)

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India relaxes onion export ban for Sri Lanka and UAE

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India has lifted its ban on onion exports, permitting the shipment of 10,000 metric tonnes to Sri Lanka, announced the Indian High Commission in Colombo. 

This move, aligned with India’s Neighbourhood First policy, aims to support Sri Lanka during its Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations.

The decision comes as a relief for Sri Lanka, where onion prices surged following export bans imposed by both India and Pakistan.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade has issued a gazette notice granting permission to National Co-operative Exports Limited for the export of 10,000 MT of onions to Sri Lanka.

Furthermore, the UAE has been granted permission to import an additional 10,000 MT of onions, in addition to the 24,400 MT already permitted. This decision is significant given the substantial Indian and South Asian expat community residing in the UAE.

The relevant gazette notification is given below.

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Expressways generate whopping income during Avurudu season

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The expressways have generated an income of Rs. 159,802,950 from April 10 – 13, Road Development Authority (RDA) says.

According to the Director of Expressway Operation Maintenance and Management Division – R.A.D. Kahatapitiya.

Over 4,350,000 vehicles have used the expressways during this period, he has added.
As many as 366,000 vehicles have used the expressways during this three-day period.

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Special transport arrangements to those returning to Colombo

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Special train services are in operation from this evening (April 14) for people to return to Colombo after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year holidays, the Railways Department said.

Deputy General Manager of Sri Lanka Railways –  N.J. Indipolage stated that accordingly, eight additional train journeys will be in operation from Badulla, Galle and Beliatta railway stations to Colombo Fort.

The Department of Railways also mentioned that the office trains will be operational as per usual from April 16.

Meanwhile, the National Transport Commission has said that special buses will be deployed to transport those who had gone to their hometowns during the New Year.
Bus associations have also stated that buses to Colombo will be operational.

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