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WFA votes in favour of ISB

By Anita Donaldson

The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia voted unanimously at its April board meeting in support of the formation of an Industry-owned Services Body (ISB) as the structural model best placed to take the wine industry forward. The model is similar to that already employed within other Australian industry sectors, such as dairy, pork, meat and livestock, wool, horticulture and forestry.

The WFA recommendation comes on the back of a 12-month process which has seen a comprehensive review — termed the NOS Review — of the National Organisational Structures (NOS). A Taskforce involving key stakeholders: the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC), Wine Grape Growers’ Australia (WGGA), Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) and the WFA was established to review the roles of the existing organisations and make recommendations to industry that would create a more efficient and streamlined structure moving forward. Late in 2007, the Taskforce presented various options to industry, which were then open to a period of further comment.

The WFA board passed a resolution to the effect that forming an industry-owned services body (ISB) that would take on the majority of functions of both the Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA) and the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC) would represent the most effective outcome. In essence, this model would see a new body formed as the peak group directing, driving and implementing strategy in the future.

“I’m pleased the WFA board made its decision. Many other stakeholders need to be engaged with, we’re by no means there,” said WFA chief executive Stephen Strachan, citing the need for ongoing consultation with stakeholders including the AWBC and WGGA on the ISB model, plus a further agenda to be discussed in regards the roles, functions and interactions of national, state and regional associations.

Strachan said the WFA board’s vote had been unanimous, based on the WFA’s “strong view” that structures in place ought to be enduring and allow industry to evolve going forward.

“The Board felt it was time to put in a place a structure that was industry-owned and charged with the responsibility of all strategy, policy and development on behalf of all the industry,” Strachan said.

With WFA’s recommendations set, a lengthy consultation process that could take up to two years, will begin as the national organisations agree and implement considerable change in internal structures and responsibilities aligned with the new model.

• For more on the WFA’s recommendations for structural change, look out for the May issue of Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker.

• The full list of WFA’s policy decisions in response to the Taskforce Review is available at www.wfa.org.au/NOS.htm.

• Want to comment on WFA’s recommendations? Email ">e

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