The preferred forum in recent years for information exchanges between Riverland Wine and its 1,000 members has been the breakfast meeting. An alternative concept ‘Town Workshops’ was proposed in May but there was little appetite (no pun intended). Management Committees went back to the drawing board and agreed the best way to engage effectively is to do so at breakfast time in local hotels.
The breakfast sessions will provide a detailed report or scorecard of activities, programs and consultations the Riverland Wine management committees have been working to bring the course back to prosperity to ensure Australia’s largest wine producing region is on a pathway with long-term grunt. This region’s strategic focus has been on ‘all of industry sustainability’ with an unrelenting concentration on evidence based data. Details of how Riverland stacks-up against other regions will be examined. Similarly the focus on ‘fine wines from our clean environment’ will be reviewed to consider how that strategic direction, established by Wine Australia and reinforced by the State Government is making a difference in this region.
The sessions will include details of how we are working to ensure there can be no question of price slippage in 2017 but further gains on the modest 2016 improvements. Many are murmuring that the ‘Industry Code of Conduct’ is failing. We’ll look at that, to see whether it is relevant or not. The great majority of Riverland growers don’t have to worry about being paid on time but for those who are being pressured to extend credit, way beyond the provisions of the Wine Grapes Industry Act, there will be a chance to ‘share your story’. Water security and water trading mysteries and opportunities will get a go.
The meetings will be scheduled in early September. Invitations will be sent next week via Australia post; hence the long lead-time! If early feedback indicates that breakfast doesn’t suit the great majority, working off-farm or consistent 12-hour days, the times will be varied to provide for some evening sessions, say from 7:30pm if that suits more members. At this stage the sessions will be in Waikerie, Berri, Renmark and Loxton. All these arrangements can be flexible but you will need to email or phone (8584 5816) Kate to be sure we match your preferred time.
If you have a point of view about any of this, please let us know. Contact Kate to make a time for a discussion with Chris Byrne or any one of the management committees.