Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) is the national voice of winegrowers. Its role is to advocate on behalf of growers’ commercial practices, to take responsibility for biosecurity management, and to ensure research priorities reflect what grape growers need.
WGGA also collaborates with other bodies to address issues such as tax, market access and agrichemicals, and the regular challenges that threaten the viability of the wine industry as a whole. There is a growing focus on reorganising representative groups, not for the sake of it, but for efficiency and effectiveness.
There is also a real need to address the large number of different representative groups that work at regional, state and national level and make sure that there is no duplication, and that the hard-earned money growers contribute in the form of levies and voluntary contributions across the nation, is spent wisely for the best possible outcome. During recent years the amount of money that the WGGA has available to allow it to work for growers has diminished.
While working diligently to be more effective at representing growers at a national level, there is a risk that the organisation may not be sustainable, as low or no profitability among growers is reflected in a reduced capacity to contribute to industry organizations. This would mean that there would be no national grower voice, and the responsibilities above would not be performed by a national grower organization.
Under the guiding hand of Riverland viticulturist Andrew Weeks the WGGA is working to avoid any such dire outcome, and continue to work on behalf of the nation’s winegrowers.