WGGA Executive Director to retire

After five years as Executive Director of Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) Lawrie Stanford has decided it’s time to hand over the reins.
“This is the right decision for me and for the organisation”, Mr Stanford said.  “Renewal is important for any organisation and it’s time for me to pursue some of my own personal challenges.” 
“This is an exciting time for the industry”, he added.  “I’ve been personally committed to improving the trading and operating conditions for growers for five years, and we are finally starting to see some recognition in government and in the winemaking community that action is needed to improve national biosecurity preparedness and industry commercial practices in particular.” 

Mr Stanford’s association with the Australian wine sector spans 20 years, commencing in 1994 at the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics, before joining the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation prior to his appointment to the as WGGA Executive Director. A small group from the executive committee has been set up to find Lawrie’s replacement, as well is a new chair to take over from Vic Patrick when he stands down of November AGM.

The main challenge for the new Executive Director will be to participate in a collaborative process with the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia to develop a new model for combined representation of wine grape growers and winemakers at a national level, as well as delivering on WGGA’s core programs: biosecurity, improved market access for wine grapes and reform in commercial practices.
Mr Stanford will leave the organisation in mid-December. 

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