With vintage 2019 fast approaching, it is timely to remind winemakers and grape growers to ensure their contracts are up to date and that they are applying best business practice. Australian Vignerons (AV) and Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) support transparency about price and quality determination and trading practices in the supply chain.
The Wine Industry Code of Conduct is a voluntary code established by WFA and Wine Grape Growers Australia (now AV), to provide a set of minimum standards for dealings between winegrape purchasers who are signatories, and winegrape growers.
No matter how good a commercial relationship may be, disputes may arise. Critically, the Code provides a valuable mechanism to resolve some of these disputes avoiding costly legal action.
The Code requires a price offer or a negotiation as part of the calculation of the price for each variety of winegrape (referred to as Indicative Regional Prices). It is important that both parties realise that indicative prices, like contractual arrangements are confidential agreements that cannot legally be shared amongst buyers or sellers. The sharing of pricing arrangements by either party outside of a contractual arrangement could be considered anti-competitive behaviour, which is illegal.
Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive of the Winemakers Federation of Australia said, “Contractual arrangements between growers and winemakers are a crucial part of doing business. The Code of Conduct remains an important tool to resolve disputes, quickly and cost effectively. We always hope disputes won’t arise, but it is always possible, in even the best of trading relationships."
Anna Hooper Chief Executive of Australian Vignerons said, “It’s important that as an industry we continue to promote fair and equitable dealings and that pricing is determined and disclosed in a manner that’s transparent and mutually understood.”
For information about becoming a signatory to the voluntary Australian Wine Industry Code of Conduct visit the website here.
Australian Vignerons is travelling across South Australia as a part of the Wine Grape Council of South Australia’s 2018 Roadshows. The message to growers is that a national voice for Australian wine grape growers is more important than ever.
Delivering the message of national advocacy is Anna Hooper, Acting CEO of Australian Vignerons. Anna takes the reins from Andrew Weeks who recently left to pursue other interests in the wine industry. Anna has over 20 years of experience working in the wine industry. She has worked across all aspects of wine and grape production and has a practical understanding of the issues facing growers and makers of wine.
One of the key goals for Australian Vignerons at the South Australian roadshows is to make growers aware of the support and promotion provided to Australia’s wine grape growers by Australian Vignerons. Anna says, ‘Growers need to understand that their voice on biosecurity, research and other critical issues is essential. The recent national surveillance for Grapevine Pinot Gris Virus is just one example of how an industry voice ensured that post entry quarantine restrictions were not lifted prematurely’. Anna also says ‘Another one of our roles is to advocate on behalf of growers and act as an insurance policy against negative political decisions at a federal level. Without Australian Vignerons, growers don’t have a seat at the table.’
The wide scope of responsibilities of Australian Vignerons is also on display at the roadshows. Australian Vignerons is the signatory to the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) for the national wine sector. This means that if there is an incursion, growers have a voice speaking on their behalf. ‘Biosecurity is always a looming threat for wine grape growers,’ Anna explains ‘having a national body who is across all biosecurity issues from state to state is vital for the industry.’ Anna will also talk about Australian Vignerons’ role in selecting the Wine Australia board, progress on the national sustainability program and the dramatic consequences of legislative changes to the draft National Alcohol Strategy.
Feedback from growers at the roadshows has been overwhelmingly positive. Anna says, ‘Our presentation at these roadshows highlights the many things Australian Vignerons does for Australian wine grape growers. It’s great to see growers becoming aware of national issues and knowing they have someone in their corner.’
Australian Vignerons is a lean operation focused wholly on helping Australian wine grape growers. The independent board of Australian Vignerons is a group of industry leaders with skills in all facets of the wine industry. Each one of these experts volunteers their time to further the Australian wine industry, with a particular focus on wine grape growers.
The Wine Grape Council of South Australia (WGCSA) Roadshows is bringing together the key industry bodies representing winegrape growers. Australian Vignerons is joined by Vinehealth Australia, WGCSA, Australian Wine Research Institute and the South Australian Wine Industry Association. Further roadshows will be held in Clare (May 10), Barossa (May 11), Adelaide Hills & Langhorne Creek (May 15) and Limestone Coast (May 17). For details, visit www.wgcsa.com.au/2018-roadshow.html
For more information about Australian Vignerons, please call Anna Hooper on 0427 685 077 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
A new generation of leaders will be launched into the wine sector today. Sixteen young members of the Australian wine sector’s Future Leaders program have graduated after an intensive schedule that will prepare them to be the next generation of leaders in Australian wine.
The program is a joint initiative of Wine Australia, Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) and Australian Vignerons (AV) that gives emerging leaders, from early to mid-career, an opportunity to develop their leadership, business and marketing skills.
Over a six-month period, the graduates heard from thought leaders both within and beyond the wine sector, including some of Australia’s best speakers on the topics of innovation, leadership and culture, and connected with people from across the grape and wine community, including Future Leaders alumni.
Wine Australia Chair Brian Walsh said, ‘Since the first program in 2006, there had been seven intakes, including the latest vintage. Now there are over 100 alumni, many already making significant contributions to the sector, through their own companies, sector committees, company boards and in research’.
‘I have every confidence that this group has the nous to embrace all it has learned and implement this knowledge in rewarding and positive ways’, Mr Walsh said.
WFA President Sandy Clark said, ‘I am delighted that we have this extraordinarily talented group of young women and men who are prepared to take the industry challenges head on and make a positive difference for the whole sector.’
AV Independent Chair Jo Andrew said the experiences over the past months would ‘contribute to a graduation group who had the skills to influence businesses, regions and the greater sector, and the confidence and contacts to do so’.
The 2017 Future Leaders program, conducted by Pragmatic Thinking, explored new avenues in business, innovation, culture, marketing and governance, and how global economics was shaping the future. Participants looked at new technologies and contemporary approaches to people leadership and business success. They were exposed to the latest thinking in behavioural science, neuro science, and cutting-edge leadership thinking.
The program offered opportunities to develop connections between participants and with WFA, AV, and Future Leaders’ Alumni, in addition to Wine Australia.
The 16 graduates are:
As part of their leadership challenge, the graduands were asked to put together some of their thoughts on leadership, which have been compiled into a book.
Each selected their own topic – based on what they saw as pressing issues for them, their organisation or the sector – sometimes spanning all three of those areas. There are thoughts around management and leadership, innovation, growing and making as well as marketing and brand awareness. From crowd funding to penetrating the US market, to family succession planning and challenging the norm.
Wine Australia invests in the Future Leaders program as part of its policy of investing in sector leadership. In the same vein, it supports the Nuffield Australia scholarship program, travel bursaries and post-graduate scholarships.
The grape and wine sector has welcomed today’s launch of the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon Barnaby Joyce, and Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston.
Australian Vignerons, the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and Wine Australia have worked in close consultation with the Australian grape and wine sector to develop the business plan for the Package, which will be delivered over three years.
The Package comprises four distinct programs that aim to transform the sector by enhancing and showcasing the nation’s wine tourism offering while driving further demand for Australia’s growing wine exports.
Australian Vignerons Independent Chair Jo Andrew praised the manner in which all parties had supported the opportunity provided by the Package. ‘This funding allows Australian growers and makers of wine to build on the excellent recent results in both domestic and international markets. This is a great outcome from the collaboration between the wine sector, Wine Australia and the Federal Government.’
Winemakers’ Federation of Australia President Sandy Clark said, ‘The $50 million Package provides a once in a generational opportunity to grow demand for Australian wine. It will benefit all winemakers and provide a lasting platform for profitability throughout the supply chain, and I would like to thank all those who have got behind this initiative. It is now up to us to maximise the opportunity’.
Wine Australia Chair Brian Walsh said, ‘Our thanks to Deputy Prime Minister Joyce and Minister Ruston for their enduring commitment to supporting the growth of the Australian grape and wine sector and their ongoing engagement with our regional communities throughout the development of this Package.
‘We have convened a 9-person expert Marketing Advisory Group drawn from different parts of the sector to provide advice on the strategy and activities to be considered for Program 1 - accelerating growth in international demand. This program, which focuses on the United States and China markets, aims to grow both demand for our wine exports and showcase Australia’s wine tourism offering and we will continue to work with Tourism Australia to leverage opportunities.
‘Program 1 is in addition to Wine Australia’s existing activities, through which there is unwavering commitment to continued investment into the full breadth of Australia’s export markets. We have already received sector approval to commence some early activities this year including Australian Wine Week in San Francisco and New York and involvement in the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Week in October.
‘Wine Australia will be spending the next few months developing materials for the capability and capacity building portions of Program 2, with a view to delivering the first workshops, forums and online tools early next year.
‘Consultation with the sector on the draft guidelines for the grants schemes under Programs 2 and 3 is expected to start soon. We are committed to keeping our grape and wine community actively involved throughout this initiative and I encourage all to visit the Wine Australia website where we will have further information, including grants guidelines and how to get involved, as it becomes available.’
To read the full media release click here.