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South Australian Government offers support to grape growers

Wine grape growers across South Australia, experiencing challenges due to the oversupply of red wine grapes, can now access support through a state government grant.

The Rural Business Support Relief Fund will provide financial support, following weeks of discussions, for impacted red wine grape growers by making available immediate grants of up to AU$1,500 to accommodate routine costs, in conjunction with business financial planning.

The support aims to alleviate stress for grape growers, who have “felt significant impacts owing to market disruption, severe weather events and natural disasters”, the government said.

A further AU$60,000 in funding is also being provided to increase rural financial counselling services for the wine and viticulture industry. The ethephon vineyard resting trial will also be extended to the next vintage. By applying the chemical, grape growers could save up to AU$2,000 per hectare in input, water, and management costs, it said.

The support also complements other measures developed to assist local industry with ongoing challenges. A AU$1.85m package to re-engage with China following the recent lifting of tariffs has also been deployed, and the government previously provided AU$300,000 to develop and implement the Riverland Wine Blueprint.


Clare Scriven, South Australia minister for primary undustries, regional development and forest industries, said the government have been “listening to the concerns raised by wine grape growers in the Riverland and across the state”.

“This additional funding to assist grape growers help cover routine costs through this challenging season continues our strong commitment to South Australia’s growers and local industries that underpin regional communities. The support work will provide assistance to the wine industry which has been heavily impacted by disrupted market conditions and global over-supply.”

Speaking about the lifting of tariffs from China, Scriven said: “The removal of tariffs has been welcomed by our grape-growers and wine industry. The State Government is also supporting the wine and viticulture industry through a AU$1.85m re-engagement package that will assist the industry re-position South Australia as a market leader in China.”


In February, grape growers from the Riverland lined the streets of the town of Renmark with tractors to express their concerns for the future of the region’s wine industry.

This was followed by crisis talks of 900 growers in March meeting with the South Australian Government, after wineries offered farmers rates as low as AU$120 a tonne (£62), despite the costs of production being more than double this amount.

In addition, growers called for a moratorium on planting vines in an effort to stop the oversupply of grapes.

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