Further to his comments last week, new RWGA Chair Brett Proud has offered some further reflections on the purpose of having an industry representative organisation and the importance of actively engaging in 2-way dialogue, even when things are on the up ‘n up.
“Riverland Wine’s mission is to provide the leadership, resources and coordination necessary to drive a profitable, dynamic and sustainable Riverland wine industry for the benefit of its members and the community.”
A major key to the success of Riverland Wine is the engagement of the members. If wine grape growers and winemakers are not actively engaged with the Management Committees and Delivery Groups of Riverland Wine, achieving the vision of the Riverland Wine community is problematic.
We have seen in the past what happens when we are reactionary and suffer the consequences of decisions made without our input. If the Riverland wine industry does not influence the decision makers, from all levels of government, research and industry, then whinging about how we are treated is a moot point.
Thankfully, due to the bold leadership in recent years with Sheridan Alm, Chris Byrne and Brian Walsh in addition to the Chairs of the three delivery groups, Riverland Wine is now in a strong position to create a sustainable future for its members in the wine value chain.
It is the obligation of the nearly 1,000 wine grape growers and the winemakers of the Riverland to engage with Riverland Wine. Contributing to the Riverland Wine Industry Fund (RWIF) is the price to pay to be part of the exciting future that is ahead. Expecting that that the global wine market will pay a fortune for our wine, just because we made it, is quite unrealistic.
Committing to engage with Riverland Wine would be a wise investment for all Riverland wine enterprises. The wine grape growers and winemakers in the Riverland are some of the best in the world. It is pointless to grow quality wine grapes and make popular wine if no-one buys it. Profitability and sustainability will only happen if the collective strength of our wine community is focussed towards the strategies that will return value to the Riverland.
Soon, all grape growers and winemakers will have the opportunity to invest in their future by attending a Riverland Wine ‘shed’ meeting. The future profitability and sustainability of our vineyard or winery is better served by promoting the Riverland to the world, rather than just hoping for the best. Relying on luck is not a good business plan. Not contributing is even worse.
“Be bold, be ambitious, be generous.”