The Comité Champagne is committed to addressing the challenges of employing grape pickers
Following the Executive Committee meeting on 16 October 2023, attended by Josiane Chevalier, Prefect of the Grand Est region, the Comité Champagne announced its first tangible proposals to address the challenges of the Champagne grape harvests.
Champagne plays host to 120,000 seasonal harvesters annually for the harvest, but administrative closures of accommodation unfit for habitation and the tragic loss of five pickers this year have highlighted the need for improved regulation of this crucial period.
The Comité Champagne has mandated a group of professionals to develop concrete measures in four priority projects, also seeking support from State departments. Accommodation is an immediate priority, with the launch of the “Conferences on accommodation for grape pickers in Champagne” to mobilise partners and improve reception conditions. A guide on accommodation for grape pickers will be made available during the next harvest.
The health and safety of grape pickers is highlighted, including calls to enhance prevention and safety measures, and a process of reflection on the organisation of work based on risk assessment. The provision of services is considered essential for harvesting, and a “Champagne Service Provider Charter” will be created in partnership with the local authorities.
The scarcity of a local workforce and recruitment difficulties have prompted the Comité Champagne to develop tools to facilitate hiring and to request recognition of Champagne viticulture as a sector experiencing shortages. These proposals will be formalised in a roadmap shared with all stakeholders, and the Executive Board of the Comité Champagne undertakes to mobilise all the necessary resources to implement these measures from the next harvest.
Source : Comité Champagne