WFA to consider feedback on wine industry consultation

Friday, 25 October, 2013


A two-month consultation period on the wine industry has closed. Individuals and wine organisations were asked to submit feedback on 33 recommended actions aimed at restoring the wine industry’s profitability.

The board of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) says it will now consider the feedback, finalise the actions and implement them as soon as possible in partnership with industry and government.

Feedback was gathered at 11 regional consultation forums across four states and through written submissions.

“The forums were important because they gave people the opportunity to directly ask questions and engage with each other as well as us,” said WFA Chief Executive Paul Evans.

“The sessions were lively and it was pleasing to see many of the industry’s thought leaders and emerging talent attending and contributing. Numbers varied from approximately 15 to 60 across the regions. All provided valuable feedback that will help shape what we finally move forward to implement.”

WFA released its 33 proposed actions in August, following a six-month expert review of the wine industry by economists Centaurus Partners, which included detailed analysis of demand, supply and market distortions.

The actions were grouped into seven categories:

  • Growing demand for Australian wine both domestically and internationally.
  • Hastening the correction to the supply base.
  • Working with national wine retailers and the competition regulator on fairness, transparency and equity in the domestic wine market.
  • Reforming the wine equalisation tax rebate to support regional communities.
  • Monitoring the future of wine tax policy.
  • Promoting responsible consumption and an appropriate regulatory framework.
  • Securing the funding to support the recommended actions.

“We said at the time that the expert review was the most significant body of work the industry had undertaken in many years and it provided an ideal platform for a comprehensive discussion on the main issues that affect us as an industry,” Evans said.

“There was discussion around such issues as retail consolidation, continuing oversupply of grapes and wine, the way to capture market opportunities at home and abroad, potential reform to the WET rebate and the ongoing debate about alcohol and health.”

A summary of the feedback - and other related documents - can be found on the WFA website: www.wfa.org.au. The material will be updated as feedback from the most recent forums is received.

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