The CCW Board and Accolade wines have agreed prices for 2019. CCW growers breathed a collective sigh of relief last week when the two parties agreed 2019 Market Prices for a range of varieties just as vintage is winding down
Growers and winemakers across the region shared that relief. The ‘handbrake’ on the regional average prices is off! The significance of this outcome is much more than just a bit of good news for CCW members. Consider this; the CCW team produces virtually half the regions winegrapes. In recent years the Coop and Winery management have not been able to agree on fair market prices for the high volume, popular varieties and the CCW have lodged disputes in line with the ‘preferred supplier’ contract. Independent experts have been appointed to settle the differences of opinion. Most often the outcome has been a compromise between the two prices disputed. Arguments have been put suggesting that the 15-year rolling, hectare-based contract, offers greater security and that consideration imputes a price per tonne discount. In most cases the final prices determined by the expert has trailed the prices achieved by growers supplying other wineries.
Be that as it may, these lower prices have acted as a ‘handbrake’ on other price offers in the current years and for the following year. Other buyers have been reluctant and cautious in setting their own prices. They can’t afford to hand a significant price benefit to a (very large) competitor. When average regional prices are calculated and published retrospectively (much) later in the year, it’s those averages that ‘set the scene as the basis for the following year’s opening price-offers; hence the impact of lower averages prices compounds.
But this year the expert has found the fair market-price for CCW growers is much nearer the mark of other buyers and sellers. A great outcome; one that will significantly enhance the wealth retained here in the region as farm-gate income. Well done to all concerned.
Now we can all turn our attention to the challenge of what needs to be done to avoid the compression issues that ripple along the chain causing angst for all those in the Chain of Responsibility.