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New plan for wine industry


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Moves to cut the oversupply of grapes and lift sales both domestically and in major export markets are key features of a new strategy released by Australia’s wine industry.

The Winemakers Federation of Australia (WFA) says the industry must also continue to engage in the wine and health debate and do more to increase access to international markets through the promotion of free trade agreements.

“The actions are all designed at improving industry settings to grow domestic and export markets and lift industry profitability,” WFA president Tony D’Aloisio said on Friday.

“This growth and lift in profitability is important for regional jobs and to attract the capital required to re-invest in infrastructure and in necessary innovation for the sector to retain and improve global competitiveness.”

As part of its plan, wine producers and growers will work to speed up actions to deal with the oversupply of commercial grade grapes.

The two groups will produce a regular review of vineyard profitability, including projections for key markets.

They will also commission research on improving vineyard flexibility and on alternative uses for grapes, although the WFA has knocked back the idea of a vine buyback program.

On market access, the industry wants the federal government to “rigorously” pursue free trade agreements with China and other regional trading partners.

It also wants more funds to increase Australia’s presence at international trade shows and for the promotion of Australian wine through social media.

On health, the plan says the WFA will continue to promote responsible consumption and to analyse the link between wine prices and at-risk consumption.

D’Aloisio said the new plan had wide support across the wine industry.

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