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AUS: Wine Grape Growers chairman ousted – report

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The head of Wine Grape Growers Australia has been forced to stand down.

Paul Clancy, the association's chairman, was ousted last week after holding the position for only six months.

The move has led to the Winemakers' Federation of Australia postponing its support for a summit it was convening with the association.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph today (27 January), WFA's chief executive, Stephen Strachan, said: "Now is an absolutely crucial time in grape grower politics. We need to see strong and continuous leadership (among grape growers)."

The newspaper cited industry sources who claim that Clancy's departure came about as a result of a clash between his conciliatory approach to industry affairs and a more adversarial approach by other members and officials.

However, Mike Stone, chief executive of Murray Valley Grapegrowers, one of the three organisations that form WGGA, told the paper that the comment was "so far off the mark it's laughable". Clancy had left because the three organisations felt their relationship with Clancy was damaged, Stone said.

"I'm disappointed not to be able to see through the formation of the national body," Clancy was cited saying in the report. "I feel like I'm abandoning ship just as it's about to dock."

The WGGA and WFA had agreed to a summit looking at the wine grape glut in Australia last week at a meeting called by Federal Agriculture Minister, Peter McGauran. The summit has been provisionally set for 3 March.


Sectors: Wine

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