Wine industry working together on cash flow

11 May, 2020 by Andy Young

So far 2020 has proven to be a very difficult year for many, and the challenges of coronavirus, bushfires, smoke and drought have been particularly felt by Australia’s wine industry.

Now key industry body Australian Grape & Wine (AGW) is reminding everyone involved in the industry that cash flow is essential to all businesses along the grape and wine supply chain. AGW said that every business needs to make sure it is paying on time and in full to help all businesses recover from the damage that has been wrought recently.

Advertisement

“All businesses in the wine sector are doing it tough at the moment,” said AGW Chief Executive, Tony Battaglene. “But, our sector is resilient. We’re all in this together, and we will get through these difficult times and recover strongly.”

Most grape growers, winemakers, wine industry suppliers, restaurants and distributors have noted cash-flow is their primary concern during the coronavirus crisis, with many facing difficult decisions relating to retaining staff or even staying in business.

“In times like this, meeting our contractual and moral obligation to pay on time and in full is critical,” said Battaglene. “Businesses do not have the option to make a unilateral decision to introduce longer payment terms. If you are having cash flow issues, pick up the phone and negotiate.

“Every link in the supply chain relies on the others to be profitable and sustainable. If payments aren’t made at points along the chain, we risk not only the futures of individual businesses and their employees, but the viability of the sector as a whole.”

Battaglene added: “Grape growers deserve to be paid by winemakers, and winemakers deserve to be paid by their distributors, restaurants and retailers, on time and in full.

“Now, more than ever, we need to pull-together and help each-other out to drive a prosperous and sustainable future for Australia’s 6000 grape growers and 2500 winemakers.”

The Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has detailed a number of options for businesses that have not received payment for goods or services rendered. In addition the AGW said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) may take an interest in anti-competitive, or unfair business practices.