An historic meeting of Australian Vignerons (AV) and the Winemakers Federation of Australia (WFA) took place in Adelaide on Tuesday, November 13. Both organisations convened their annual general meetings followed by a joint meeting at which the boards of both groups voted to amalgamate to form Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated (AGWI).
Riverland Wine joins with other industry organisations in congratulating both peak bodies on this courageous, strategic initiative.
Executive Chair Chris Byrne commented that Riverland winegrowers and winemakers agreed to unite in 2010, to represent and advocate on behalf of all parties when formulating strategy and policy. He said “there is little doubt, the fundamental objective for all who invest land, capital and labour to grow grapes and make wine, is to be profitable and sustainable. It makes a lot of sense to work as a unit, to achieve those outcomes”.
He added “With more than 80 per cent of all Riverland wine being exported it is imperative we understand the myriad of market places and consumers and that we apply our combined resource base to be the most competitive wine producers especially in the southern hemisphere. Working together we can become the preferred supplier ahead of major rivals, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa. Commercial differences must be realistic and mutually respected but moreover, the key word in today’s business and trading environment is ‘sustainable’. When winemakers and growers regularly meet and actively listen with a focus on leadership, unity, innovation and pride, old fashioned negative behaviours (bullying and blaming) give way to education, growth, entrepreneurialism and empowerment. Co-operation and collaboration will shine a light on sustainability, profitability and growth within much shorter timeframes”.
Riverland Wine members look forward to being actively involved in the new Australian Grape and Wine peak industry body.