Australia Forms Task Force to Revive Wine Industry

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.11 - 2024 11:53 AM CET

In response to oversupply and economic challenges, Australia introduces a task force aimed at revitalizing the wine sector.

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The Australian wine industry is getting a boost from the government through the creation of a task force aimed at "rebalancing supply, growing demand, and boosting regional tourism" to tackle the current issues of oversupply and economic strain.

Following discussions among agriculture ministers from the Commonwealth, states, and territories on Saturday (9 March), President Anthony Albanese's administration announced the establishment of a viticulture and wine sector working group. This group will include industry bodies like Wine Australia and Australian Grape & Wine, along with government representatives and other key stakeholders.

Their mission? To offer advice to agriculture ministers on overcoming the obstacles that wine growers face.

"We've been pushing for a united and collaborative effort to address the sector's challenges, and we're glad the ministers have agreed to set up this working group," stated Australian Grape & Wine CEO Lee McLean.

He mentioned that the organization had already presented several suggestions to the government to help balance the supply-demand equation and invigorate the tourism sector in wine-producing regions.

McLean also pointed out the significant financial strain in regions such as Riverland, Riverina, and the Murray Valley due to mismatched supply and demand.

"It's encouraging that the group will explore collaborative solutions to ease these pressures," he added.

The wine surplus issue was exacerbated by China imposing harsh tariffs on Australian wine in 2021, leading to ongoing difficulties. Although there's hope for a resolution to lift the tariffs soon, the Australian wine sector may still need time to recover from these prolonged disruptions.

The task force plans to visit areas heavily affected by the wine surplus and is expected to report its findings and recommendations by April 2024. By July, they aim to suggest strategies to agriculture ministers for enhancing the sector's sustainability and success.

McLean praised the establishment of the task force as evidence of a solid partnership between Australian Grape & Wine and the government.

"This collaborative effort will promote a constructive agenda that benefits the grape and wine industry," he remarked.

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