AUS: Wine Australia needs funding to restore category "excitement"
The action plan aims to boost Australia's wine industry
Government agency Wine Australia needs extra funding to restore “excitement” to the country's wine category and boost exports, according to a new industry action plan.
The 43-point strategy, published by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) today (13 December), outlines the measures needed in the next three years to help the wine trade.
Wine Australia, which supports the industry, has “significantly reduced operating costs, restructured its operations and made difficult decisions about where to focus limited resources,” the strategy paper says. “Further changes will be required if alternate revenue sources cannot be found.”
Since 2007, levies paid to Wine Australia have fallen from AUD17m to AUD11m, the paper notes. But an extra AUD2m is needed for the group to fulfil its role, the strategy says.
“The overall aim is to restore 'excitement' in the Australian category, and provide a strong basis for a more concerted industry effort to compete for sales against our competitors, return better margin to producers and anticipate and shape emerging consumer trends,” its says.
The WFA also calls for “closer industry ties with national wine retailers to help grow the category domestically”. A PR campaign to promote moderate consumption of wine, in the broader health debate around alcohol, will also be launched, the group said.
The strategy also lays out plans to cut the the oversupply of “commercial grade” grapes and to help balance pricing in Australia's wine industry.
WFA President Tony D’Aloisio said: “We believe we have a solid and robust industry blueprint which has very wide support.
“We now look forward to maintaining the the momentum and to continuing to work with our members, governments and other stakeholders to implement these actions.”
Wine Australia is set to merge with another government agency, the Grape & Wine Research & Development Corporation, after legislation was passed last month. The new body - The Australian Grape and Wine Authority - will begin operations from July.
Australia’s total wine export trade was valued at AUD1.8bn last year.
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