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Australia’s grapegrowers seek winery flexibility

A forecast bumper vintage and world oversupply is expected to have a negative effect on grape prices in 2006, and winegrape growers are now looking for flexibility in contracts and supply arrangements with wineries.

That’s according to Australia’s winegrapes supply expert and Chairman of CCW Cooperative Ltd Jim Caddy. Caddy will be presenting his views on the supply partnership challenges facing Australian growers and winemakers at the Outlook Conference on 24 November.

Caddy said although growers were taking steps to control the size of the expected large harvest they needed wineries to take a long term ‘all of industry’ view.

“Growers are seeking integrity and flexibility from winemakers to ensure their businesses remain viable,” he said. “The most important thing for growers is establishing a secure future and that means long term contracts with wineries.”

In his presentation “The Supply Partnership”, Jim will discuss strategies to help winemakers and growers maintain sustainable wine volume and quality as well as providing price and tonnage projections.

“While pricing for red wine from inland regions is expected to stablise next year, it seems prices may drop for Chardonnay and in cool climate regions as some of the set price contracts reach the end of their term,” Caddy said.

Caddy will present alongside Penny Boothman, assistant editor of The Drinks Business (UK), and Stephen Strachan, chief executive of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, in a session entitled “Our Competitive Advantages”, which will provide delegates with insights into the local and international risks and challenges facing the Australian wine industry.

Boothman will discuss how Australia can re-excite the UK marketplace and cater for UK consumers at every price point in her presentation ‘Breaking out of the Pigeon Hole’, while Strachan will examine social and political challenges threatening the wine sector’s next stage of growth in his presentation ‘Future Shock’.

The Wine Industry Outlook Conference is being held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Thursday 24 November. For program details or to register and receive Outlook Conference updates go to www.winetitles.com.au/outlook. For more information call Conference Organisers, Fuller Communications, on (08) 8363 6811.



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