Wine Australia has released its plans for 2018–19, the fourth year of its five-year Strategic Plan 2015–2020.
Andreas Clark, Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer, said the sector is in its strongest position for many years, with total free-on-board export value having increased by 39 per cent from $1.9 billion to $2.65 billion over the past three years, value growth in all price segments over that period, and the national average wine grape purchase price having increased by 22 per cent from $463 per tonne to $565 per tonne.
‘Much work remains ahead, however, to ensure that the sector is globally competitive and Wine Australia will invest $67.8 million in an ambitious agenda for 2018–19, with the support of the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package’, Mr Clark said.
‘We have a packed program of activities, including significant investments in the USA, which will be spearheaded by the Australian Wine Made Our Way campaign.
Australia Decanted (22–26 July) will flow into Aussie Wine Week in September 2018, and then consumer activations in New York City will build into a month-long celebration of Australian wine across the US market in September 2019’, he said.
Other headline activities include:
- increased presence on social media and e-commerce platforms such as Tmall, WeChat and Weibo
- a new consumer website and consumer-targeted activations in China and the USA
- delivery of the Australian Wine Discovered education program in key markets
- continued co-investment with Tourism Australia to drive international tourists to our wine regions
- amplification of existing campaigns (Aussie Wine Week, China Wine Awards, Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival) and development of new innovative campaigns to a broader trade and consumer audience
- delivery of wine export and tourism capability development workshops
- implementation of the announced 21 international wine tourism projects covering more than 20 regions (with a total project value of $7.5 million), and
- national implementation of more than $10 million investment in state-based international wine tourism strategies, research and infrastructure through the state grants program.
In terms of research, development and extension, Wine Australia will build on its strong relationships with research providers.
‘Over the past three years of our Strategic Plan, our research has supported the development of digital technologies in a portfolio of projects using sophisticated sensors to quickly and accurately assess disease, nutritional status, grape canopy structure, crop condition and quality parameters’, Mr Clark said.
‘During the coming year, we plan to deliver a suite of tools arising from this research that can be used in the vineyard and winery. We will also extend information about how to implement research findings on objective measures for grape quality that will improve the efficiency of grape and wine production.
‘We will continue our strong focus on biosecurity research, looking at both endemic and exotic threats, and practical and effective ways of mitigating and managing those threats.’
Wine Australia has supported the growth in exports by processing a record 56,912 export approvals during the 12 months to May 2018.
In 2018–19, we will introduce a new digital export approval system that will improve the application process for wine exporters.
‘We are working closely with exporters to deliver a more intuitive system that will reduce the time it takes to request approvals. A major training and education strategy will be delivered before the roll-out of the new system to ensure a smooth transition.’
Mr Clark said the first complete revision of wine export regulations in nearly 40 years had been approved by Federal Parliament in April 2018, giving Wine Australia greater powers to protect the reputation of Australian wine by ensuring the bona fides of potential and existing exporters. This area will be a crucial focus to secure the foundations of Australian wine’s reputation while promotional campaigns were scaled-up.