McGuigan Simeon has denied claims that it rejected an independent valuation set on the price of grapes sold by growers in the Riverland region of South Australia.

The Riverland Winegrape Growers Association had said that McGuigan Simeon wrote a letter to growers telling them it would not accept the prices set by independent analyst Charles Drew.
However, the company's recently-installed managing director Dane Hudson denied the claims and said the price determinations are binding but only set a median figure within a certain price range, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation today (25 April).

Hudson said: "All the letter did was confirmed that we retained Charles, well firstly we retained Robert Hesker, but then Charles Drew came on board and he was asked to confirm that the prices within category d and e at the midpoint was a reasonable price and he came back and provided that judgement."

McGuigan Simeon suspended its contracts with growers last year in a move to reduce costs due to excess supply in Australia's wine industry. In February, the company decided to keep the suspensions in place, a move that left disgruntled growers mulling legal action.