Every year Riverland Wine must develop an Annual Operating Plan for submission to Wine Australia (WA) as part of the Regional Funding Program.
Through the Regional Program each winegrape growing region around Australia receives modest but important funding from WA for regional extension and adaptation activities. Over the last few years most of the activities undertaken within the Riverland have tended to focus on ‘adaptation’, that is taking existing technologies and testing them under Riverland conditions. In many cases Riverland Wine has also had to financially contribute to these activities, as they can be quite expensive.
After quite some discussion by various committees within Riverland Wine, it has been proposed to change the emphasis to tackling some of the major structural challenges facing the industry in the Riverland. This year, it will be about identifying the major issues and opportunities and collaborating across the industry to find long-term solutions to our challenges.
The topics chosen for progression this financial year are:
- Workshop – ‘Objective Measurement: The Path to Effective Industry Collaboration?’;
- Ensuring Maintenance of Yield and Quality: Making Informed Water Use Decisions in a Difficult Water Market;
- Using Technology to Improve Grape Quality and Vineyard Performance and Sustainability – Precision Viticulture; and
- New Market Opportunities: Alternative Varieties and Organic Production Techniques.
The way this will be done is to run a series of interactive workshops, open to all industry members, who will then work together to identify and agree on possible solutions. Guest speakers, who are experts in the relevant field, will be invited to assist in the discussions by providing their experiences of similar challenges and how they have been tackled in other areas. Most importantly, working groups will be put in place to pursue these identified solutions.
Each workshop will be widely publicised, so watch out for the notices and make sure you come along to assist in finding solutions.