Wine industry blueprint unveiled

Just seven weeks on from the consultation session with Riverland growers and winemakers the Wine Makers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) has launched its ‘Actions for Industry Profitability 2014-2016’ to position the country’s wine sector for growth in both domestic and export markets. The report comprises 43 specific ‘Actions’ in the key issue areas for industry including capturing the demand opportunity for Australian wine internationally, the wine and health debate, and working with national wine retailers on growing the category locally among consumers.

WFA President Tony D’Aloisio says the Actions are underpinned by independent expert analysis on the state of the industry and were developed by a highly experienced and representative WFA Board following close consultation with other wine industry bodies and small, medium and large wine businesses.

The Actions include initiatives to help wine businesses in entering and succeeding in key overseas markets such as the US and China; continue the sector’s commitment to responsible consumption and a balanced regulatory framework; bring the supply and demand for Australian wine into better balance; retain with some changes to the wine equalisation tax rebate; and develop a voluntary code of conduct with national wine retailers.

As part of the consultation period, WFA undertook 11 regional road shows and received more than 70 written submissions from winemakers, producers, retailers, wine associations and individuals. All comments made were captured and shared publicly through the WFA website.

Riverland Wine EO Chris Byrne has welcomed the Action Plan and said Riverland Growers and Wineries responded positively to the previous Wine Restructuring Action Agenda in 2009. He observed the at the regional level there have been strong signs of change with a significant decline in the total number of grower enterprises, a gradual increase in the average size or scale of on-goer businesses and containment of yields, well inside the region’s potential output level. He said, “Despite these changes, many of our businesses remain vulnerable to the vagaries of supply and demand and the poor quality of information available for effective planning. Riverland Wine is committed to working with peak industry bodies to improve the timeliness and accuracy of this information but above all, we will support strategic initiatives to grow the market for Australian Wine”. He added “The answers are in selling more wine, not shrinking our capabilities”

The actions and supporting documentation can be found at www.wfa.org.au

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