Government launches $50m wine export plan

28 August, 2017 by Andy Young

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, has today launched the Government’s $50m Export and Regional Wine Support Package.

The three-year plan has been designed to increase the value of wine exports up to a record $3.5bn and also to promote wine tourism in regional communities.

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In launching the package, Minister Joyce said: “Australia’s wine industry has enjoyed significant growth in recent years on the back of the Coalition’s market access gains, with our wine exports forecast to exceed 800 million litres and $2.5 billion in 2017–18.

“This package aims to build on this, delivering up to eight per cent per annum value growth across all export markets to 2021–22, including 15 to 17 per cent in China and six per cent in the US.

“At home the package will help to attract up to 40,000 more international tourists to visit our world-renowned wine regions, and take the great Australian wine tour, by 2019-20, delivering an estimated $170m to the economy.”

The package comprises four distinct programs, including:

  • a more than eight-fold increase in investment for marketing campaigns in the US and China,
  • building the capability and capacity of grape and wine businesses to capture export and tourism opportunities, including a wine exports grants scheme for current and new exporters to China and the US,
  • state-based and competitive grants to develop exciting wine tourism experiences and attract international tourists, and
  • transforming cider businesses by building knowledge of potential export markets and developing improved understanding for accessing these markets.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Rushton, was also at the launch and said: “The package is part of a suite of measures to reform the Wine Equalisation Tax rebate scheme, following extensive consultation with the wine industry.

“Our wine industry was already in a strong position, with tariff reductions from the China Australia Free Trade Agreement leading to China overtaking the US as the most valuable destination for Australian wine.

“This investment is ensuring we will capitalise on this and drive further growth.

“I’m looking forward to the industry taking ownership of it and making it work not only for their benefit and our economy, but also for the regional communities in which many of them operate.”

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 and today these associations welcomed the support package.

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,” Andrew said.

Winemakers’ Federation of Australia President Sandy Clark added: “The $50m 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 nine-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 One – 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.”