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Industry expert highlights pros and cons

As the Taskforce Review of National Organisational Structures (NOS Review) prepares to deliver its findings on how the peak industry bodies should be restructured, one industry insider says believes NOS won’t provide enough reform. But according to the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) the review will ensure the next generation of industry initiatives is undertaken within a framework that aligns industry strategy and implementation and is a key initiative of Wine Australia: Directions to 2025. One possible recommendation will be a combined peak industry body.

Former Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) executive director and wine industry consultant, Jim Fortune, says a combined industry body makes sense but has concerns about some groups lacking direction. Like the States, regions and the supply chain, for example. A recent report found that 40% of the value of a bottle of wine is made up of supply chain services. Although the Taskforce Review of National Organisational Structures (NOS Review) highlights the present roles of the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC), Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, Wine Grape Growers’ Australia (WGGA) and the GWRDC, it seems to have missed the opportunity to involve suppliers and others with an interest in industry success.

While one industry body seems like a good idea (as does the NOS Report), Fortune points out that the GWRDC and AWBC could not be part of it because both groups are unable to get involved in agripolitical activities. “The statutory authority of each group prevents this,” he said.

Other issues raised by Fortune include:

The scope of recent reports, Directions 2025 and Taking Stock and Setting Directions seem to be lost in the review

There is no clear model or strategy message from the report on how to go forward

Would like to see an Australian wine industry total value figure. For example the United States’ industry has an industry value and this model could be used to provide an estimate for Australia’s wine value.

Fortune says one industry voice has the potential to be a powerful one, and he cites the peak mining industry body, Minerals Council of Australia, as a good example and an entity that has a lot of clout. “But it must be structured to deliver effective communication,” Fortune said.

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