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16/03/2015

SA growers summit to tackle grape prices

The real impact of fluctuating currencies on South Australia’s winegrape growers will be presented at the second annual SA Winegrape Growers Summit being held on July 17.

The Wine Grape Council of South Australia (WGCSA) said while the falling dollar is a positive factor for the wine industry the level of benefit is still to be determined.

Peter Hackworth, WGCSA executive officer, said new free trade agreements with countries like China and South Korea were good signs for Australia’s wine industry, but our competitors in other exporting countries like Chile and South Africa are also benefiting from similar rates of depreciation.

One of the keynote speakers, Professor Kym Anderson, Wine Economics Research Centre executive director, will be looking at the situation in depth.

Anderson undertook a comprehensive study looking at the impact of exchange rates in the global marketplace from 2007–2012 and has been asked to present an update of this information at the Summit.

“We are really pleased to have someone of Professor Anderson’s stature to give us a much more complete picture of how wine grape growers and our wine industry will be placed as we move further into 2015 and beyond,” Hackworth said.

Australia exports at a higher rate than any other country and therefore exchange rates are critical for the economic health of the wine industry.

The Summit is now to be held annually, after last year’s inaugural event was considered a success with over 200 people attending.

Held at Adelaide Oval, the Summit seeks to assist wine grape growers plan for the coming vintage, with information like which varieties are increasing in demand and which may be declining.

“Big picture issues in our global and national marketplaces will be covered, but importantly growers will benefit directly from speakers focussing in on improving vineyard management, productivity and new technology,” Hackworth said.  

WGCSA is currently finalising the program which will be released in early May.  For more details and to register an interest, please go to the WGCSA’s website, www.wgcsa.com.au or call (08) 8351 4378. Follow Summit updates on Facebook (2015 Wine Grape Growers Summit) and Twitter @winegrapessa.

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