…A Growth Area
The most recent 2014 Australian Organic Market report suggests that the market for organically produced fruit and wine is rapidly growing, albeit from a relatively low base. The report suggests farmgate value of $54.4M in 2014, up from $25.13M in the 2012; an annual growth rate of 29 per cent. The production of organic wine increased by 120 per cent from 2011 to 2014, and it is estimated that 85 per cent of the national production emanates from South Australia.
There is a growing demand for organic wines in Europe. It is estimated that a third of French wine consumers drink organic wine; an increase of 22 per cent in 2013.
This may be encouraging news in such challenging times for growing fruit and making wine in this region. Many experts have suggested that the Riverland offers an ideal climate for organic or sustainably grown wine grapes, due to the region’s hot dry climate.
Several local producers have successfully taken up organic production models, and the making of organic wine may offer an alternative to traditional channels to market. At present the total amount of fruit and wine involved is small compared to the conventional wine market, but this may be an option for some growers and winemakers in future.