Last week, the first Riverland Wine Management Committee meeting since the AGM on August 10was held.
The meeting was significant for many reasons:
- After nearly two decades, Chris Byrne has stepped away from his executive responsibilities for the RWGA and RWIDC. The Management Committee publicly acknowledge the invaluable contribution Chris has made over the years. He has transformed the advocacy model for the Riverland Wine industry to the current level where ‘integrity credits’ are now respected throughout industry and political circles. A remarkable commitment by one person.
- Chris will still be involved as Chair of RWIDC and Riverland Wine.
- The Management Committee welcomed Jo Pippos in her role as General Manager of Riverland Wine.
The minutes of the previous Management Committee meeting were approved. Issues included:
- Commitment to the Riverland Horticulture Futures Group (RHFG).
- Contribution to the response for the ACCC Interim Report on the water markets.
- Facilitation of Federal (Senator Rex Patrick and Tony Pasin) and State (Nicola Centofanti and Tim Whetstone) to meet with the RHFG.
- Reports on the new Riverland Wine website and integrated Customer Relations Management (CRM) system.
- Reports on ‘VitiVisor’ and the completed ‘Riverland on the Verge’ project.
- Commitment to Australian Commercial Wine Producers Limited (ACWPL).
- Acknowledgement of the decade of contribution by Ivanka Moularadellis to Riverland Wine and South Australia Wine Industry Association (SAWIA).
The agenda of the meeting included:
- Approval of the YTD Financials. (Finance and Data Delivery Group)
- Communication from Minister for Primary Industries (David Basham) that the State Government would waive the administration costs of the Riverland Wine Industry Fund (RWIF) for 2020/21.
- Discussion around a 60,000-tonne shortfall between the returns to PIRSA for the RWIF and the Winegrape Crush Survey data for the Riverland.
- Communication from Wine Australia (WA) approving the 2020/21 Annual Operating Plan (research, extension and adoption) for the Grape and Wine Technology Delivery Group. This covers seven viticultural related projects in the Riverland.
- The Marketing and Public Relations Delivery Group detailed the preparations for this week’s Riverland Wine Show Gala Dinner and the Riverland Wine and Food Festival being held from Friday, October 16 to Sunday October 18.
Important outgoing communication from Riverland Wine included:
- Confirmation of the RHFG response to the ACCC Water Market Interim report.
- Letter to the Minister of Environment and Water outlining the RW response to ‘water fines’ issued by DEW.
- Riverland regional seasonal report to SAWIA and Wine Grape Council of SA (WGCSA).
It is now the challenge for every Riverland Wine member to add value to the industry and capitalise on the previous 20 years of innovation, advocacy, and commitment demonstrated by Chris Byrne.