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New appointments to boost wine industry

The Australian wine industry will benefit from two new senior appointments aimed at helping the industry extract maximum value from its investment in research and development by improving the communication between information providers and the wine industry.

The Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) and the National Wine Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC) at Wagga Wagga have appointed Duncan Farquhar as National Extension Coordinator based at the NWGIC, and Mark Krstic has been appointed by GWRDC as its Innovation / Program Manager based in Melbourne.

Wine Grape Growers Australia Executive Director, Mark McKenzie said the industry welcomed the two key appointments, as a means of ensuring that industry’s investment in research and development delivered real benefits to the Australian Wine Industry at the vineyard and winery level.

“There is a great deal of excellent research being conducted for the industry, but the challenge continues to be how we most effectively transfer this R&D to vineyard and winery businesses to assist them to improve their profitability in a more tightly competitive world market. WGGA welcomes these appointments as a significant step forward in maximising the benefits to the industry of R&D.”

Farquhar grew up in Tasmania on a farm growing hops, vegetables and essential oils. His career includes 12 years as the Tasmanian Government Viticulturist and he has also spent time in the UK and USA working in the flavour and fragrance business.

His new role is to draw together a national extension and training network to streamline communication and collaboration to maximise the capacity of businesses to be innovative and profitable. This national approach will ensure the Australian industry has access to the latest information from home and abroad.

Krstic’s work experience includes three years as a post-doctoral research scientist with CSIRO Plant Industry at Merbein, and nine years as a senior research scientist in viticulture and oenology with the Victorian Department of Primary Industries based in Mildura and Melbourne.

Krstic‘s new role at the GWRDC is to manage the Smart Science – Practical Solutions program, which involves identifying the benefits of R&D and communicating these to stakeholder networks including private consultants, grape liaison officers, suppliers, state extension agents and the agribusiness sector.

Winemakers’ Federation Australia (WFA) Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Strachan, commented; “These two appointments represent a wealth of knowledge and experience for the wine industry on a local, state and national level. Both Mark and Duncan will be key players in maximising the benefits of extension and research investment to grape growers and winemakers.”

These two positions will help connect Australian wine and grape producers into a wine innovation network.

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