Accolade blames market forces for cutting staff from Australian plant

Accolade Wines is cutting staff at its Berri Estate in Riverland, South East Australia, as demand falls for cask (boxed) wine.

Accolade Park in Bristol is Europe’s largest wine warehouse

The company told Australian newspaper Adelaide Now the decision to cut 35 jobs was the result of market forces, which had seen increasing demand for bottled wine. However the company has not released sales figures of how its casked wines have performed.

The Berri Estate winery currently produces around 70 million Litres of wine a year, with around 85,000 casks filled a day.

Accolade Wines Australian operations manager Wayne Ellis told the Australian paper the company had tried to avoid redundancies by carrying excess costs over many months, but he said it could not continue.

The Company is set to start work on a new $40 million bottling and national distribution centre at Glossop in December, which was announced in October last year and which is expected to take around a year to complete. When finished the new site will have a bottling capacity of up to eight million cases of wine per year and follows the company’s acquisition of Lion’s premium wine portfolio, Fine Wine Partners for a reported AUS$ 100 million, which includes wine brands Petaluma and St Hallett.

The move will also end a co-bottling agreement Accolade had with Treasury Wine Estates for its wines to be bottled at the Treasury Wolf Blass bottling plant over the next two years, with Treasury also ending a reciprocal bottling agreement in the UK whereby the Australian company’s wines were bottled at Accolade Park in Bristol, by 2019.

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