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New executive director for Wine Grape Growers Australia
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WINE GRAPE GROWERS AUSTRALIA (WGGA) has announced the appointment of Andrew Weeks as incoming executive director, commencing the new role in February.
Most recently employed as business manager at Riverland Wine, Weeks has previously worked in various technical and vineyard management roles including senior viticulture officer with CCW Cooperative Limited.
Prior to that Weeks was the vineyard manager at Jubilee Park Vineyards in the Riverland region, and has also worked in other roles in the Riverland, Murray Valley and Langhorne Creek wine regions.
Commenting on his appointment, Weeks said it was a tough call to move on from the Riverland but he was looking forward to the challenge.
“I’m hoping to make a difference while in the role,” he said. “There is a lot to be done at a national level.”
Weeks said the WGGA already had an existing operating plan for 2016, with industry reform high on the list of priorities.
“There is a lot of interest for a reform of wine industry bodies to explore whether there is a place for one industry voice to deal with Canberra,” he said.
Weeks said another issue he was looking to tackle was improving commercial arrangements between grapegrowers and winemakers.
The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia welcomed the appointment of Weeks, with chief executive Paul Evans calling the decision a step in the right direction.
“It is important to have strong leadership in the wine industry and Andrew’s experience will serve WGGA well at this important time when our organisations have joined behind a plan to help lift profitability for the sector,” Evans said. “We welcome Andrew to this senior position and look forward to working with him and WGGA’s recently appointed chair Jo Andrew as we bring our organisations more closely together to deliver better results for the Australian wine industry going forward.”