Wine Australia invests record $79m in wine sectorBy Eleanor Field
Wine Australia will invest a record AU$79 million in the company’s viticultural industry with a focus on research, development and extension alongside market development and export regulation.
The decision was announced in Wine Australia’s Annual Operational Plan 2019-20 (AOP) released earlier this week.
Chief executive officer of Wine Australia, Andreas Clark, explained that the sectors’ undeviating focus on improving how Australian wine is perceived internationally was producing excellent results.
Clark said: “In the period from 1 July 2015 to 30 March 2019, total free on board (FOB) export value has increased by 47 per cent from $1.9 billion to $2.78 billion. At the same time, the average value of all exports has increased by 31 per cent from $2.61 per litre to $3.41 per litre with value growth in all price segments.
“This increased average value of exports has been accompanied by a 32 per cent increase in the national average wine grape purchase price from $463 per tonne in vintage 2015, to $609 per tonne in vintage 2018.
“The health of the sector reflects Australian grape growers’ commitment to producing quality grapes sustainably and efficiently and our exporter’s commitment to growing markets by investing in promotion and market presence.”
Now in the fifth year of Strategic Plan 2015-2020 which has successfully delivered its objectives, Clark said that consultation with the grape and wine sector will soon commence to outline the development of the next five-year strategic plan.
Working with Australian Grape and Wine Inc., Wine Australia will develop a long-term plan that will guide the objectives of the next five years.
Clark said: “We’ll be holding consultation meetings in each state and grape-growers and winemakers will have the opportunity to provide their opinions on what our RD&E, marketing and regulation priorities should be over the next five-year period.”
The record expenditure reflects additional revenue from the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package as well as the administration of the $10 million Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grant and a drawdown of reserves to support RD&E expenditure.