Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated has officially launched, delivering on the industry’s call for a single united peak industry organisation, representing Australia’s winegrape and wine producers.
On November 13, members of both the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and Australian Vignerons unanimously voted for the two organisations to amalgamate, resulting in the creation of Australian Grape and Wine.
The first Board meeting of Australian Grape and Wine is scheduled for March 5, followed by a strategy day to develop the forward work program for the association.
Inaugural chairman, Sandy Clark, described the merger as a very positive move for the sector.
“For the first time Australia’s grape and wine producers have a single body to represent their interests at the national level,” he said.
“This will strengthen our advocacy and enable us to provide a stronger service to the sector’.
Tony Battaglene, the new chief executive, added he looked forward to representing its interests on national and international issues.
“We will continue to listen to our members and drive a positive and forward-looking agenda, aimed at improving profitability for the whole sector,” he said.
Australian Grape and Wine demonstrates the industry’s ability to adapt to a dynamic and changing environment and would continue to deliver on its strategic priorities, including in the areas of biosecurity, health, market access and the environment.
Mr Clark summed it up well when he remarked: “These are challenging times for our industry.
“On the supply side, we have production challenges arising from ever changing weather patterns and biosecurity threats.
“We also face a marketplace of uncertain, international, trading relationships and terms, and at home an anti-alcohol lobby which is both strong and well-funded.
“There has never been a more compelling case for an effective, united, single national wine sector body.”