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Staff shortages continue to bite in the wine trade

Almost half (45%) of companies in the wine trade have been impacted by staff shortages in the last two years, with wine producers worst affected due to the seasonality of jobs such as picking.

According to research collated for the The ProWein Business Report 2022, nearly half of all companies working with wine have suffered from worker shortages.

Hotels have been the worst hit with 87% of hoteliers reporting staff shortages, far more so than restaurants, 66% of which said they had struggled to find employees in the last two years.

Comparatively, wholesalers (49%), importers and distributors (36%) and specialty wine retailers (32%) have been least hit by staff shortages.

For wine producers the biggest staff gap lies with seasonal workers (63%), which are needed to carry out work during the harvest and vegetation periods. This shortage of seasonal workers is most severe among wine producers in Portugal (94%), Spain (77%) and California (73%).

After seasonal workers, producers are struggling most to find production staff in the cellar, as well as oenologsists and fillers (51% have reported shortages in these areas).

Sales and promotion staff represent the next biggest shortage (25%), while less than 20% of wine producers have struggled to find workers in the areas of gastronomy and service, and management at all levels.

Companies have largely compensated for staff shortages by instituting overtime and/or longer working hours, and a key consequence of widespread staff shortages is that a third of all companies failed to deliver on their quality or service level goals due to the reduced workforce.

25% of wine companies have had to “outsource operations to service providers” at a greater cost to themselves.

In view of staff shortages, one in four wine companies has raised wages for both existing and new staff members.

This month, db asked whether sommeliers should be classed as skilled workers following a recommendation by the Migration Advisory Committee to reclassify the role.




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