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19/12/2008

Grant Burge Wines seizing the dragon

In a time of doom and gloom in international markets, businesses have got to take advantage of opportunities when they arise – even if it means meeting what appear to be impossible deadlines.

Commitment to achieve requires total dedication, which was evident as Grant Burge Wines enlisted troops from across the company to fill an enviable December export order to reach a newly signed customer in China before Chinese New Year.

Grant Burge Wines Export Sales Manager Rob Gordon said global negativity was at levels not seen in generations – particularly in Europe and the US.

“But there are limitless opportunities for businesses that can succeed in Asia – particularly in China, and Grant Burge Wines wants to be at the front end of that market growth,” he said.

Wine Australia forecasts the Chinese export market will overtake one billion litres by 2011–12. This would present enormous opportunities for wineries to increase market share from the total 2007–08 volume of 13.6 million litres.

At this time of year with export orders backed-up and ship space at a premium, it took a combined team effort to get the consignment ready.

Rolling up their sleeves to get the job sailing in time were the CEO Scott Tolhurst packing boxes, Trade Marketing Manager Karen Brown applying labels and Export Sales Manager Rob Gordon packing pallets, alongside the warehouse and logistics teams.

“The beauty of a family-owned company is that everyone is passionate about the brand and willing to get their hands dirty and chip-in when work needs to be done – and we will do whatever it takes to meet our customers’ needs,” said Rob.

“It is actually very difficult to take advantage of the many opportunities in Asia. A lot of people think it’s a walk in the park when you have such a huge market like China with 1.3 billion people, but it is very different to doing business in the traditional markets like the US or UK.”

“Many Australian companies are trying to make inroads in China, but to be effective you need a lot of commitment – physically, financially and mentally,” said Rob.

“In addition to that we need to be mindful of the cultural differences that vary throughout regions and with such a large geographic area there is a complex network of logistical issues.”

“There are big opportunities if you can meet these challenges successfully. Because we were able to meet this tight deadline of Chinese New Year (January 26,2009), the customer has already placed an immediate follow up order that is even larger than the first.”

In the year ending August 2008, the value of exports to Asia grew by 6% to $262 million. China leads this growth with a 17% rise in the 12 months to $61.8 million – six times the 2004–05 value, and the volume was up 618% from 2004–05.

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