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April (No. 495)


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Queensland conference plots the future of Australian wine exports

The export volume of Australian wines has more than doubled in recent years, from 35 million cases in 2000 to 71 million cases in 2004. Wine exports are worth more than $2.74 billion to the Australian economy and, outside Europe, Australia is the largest wine exporter in the world.
Suffice to say that Australian wine export is big business, but not without its challenges. The industry is facing global oversupply and foreign exchange fluctuations, and the direction and future of Australia’s export industry needs careful consideration and planning.

The Queensland Government is hosting the National Wine Export Conference in Brisbane on 4 - 5 May 2005. The Conference will focus on the opportunities and challenges faced by Australia’s exporting wineries and boasts an impressive array of international speakers and prominent Australian wine identities.
Queensland’s Wine Industry Development Minister Margaret Keech said the conference was designed to assist Australian winemakers expand or establish the export segment of their wine business in an intelligent and smart way.

“The program includes practical sessions designed to provide hands-on intelligence, advice and learning,” Keech said.

“There is a particular focus on exports to the UK, Japan and Canada and where Australian wines are placed within these target markets.

“We will also examine a range of other topics including tips for new and established exporters, business forecasting, planning for profitability, label design, e-wine business and cellar door sales outlets.”
Keech said international speakers include Sally Easton MW, Richard Cohen and Bruce Maclean.
Easton has a decade’s buying experience in the UK at Berry Bros. and Rudd, Victoria Wine, and Kingsland Wine and Spirits. She also consults on a broad range of topics including sourcing, buying, ranging and quality issues, access to market, pricing, promotion, editorial and consumer issues. Cohen is founder of Village Cellars in Japan, a company which accounts for approximately 50% of Australian wine sales in Japan and specialises in the distribution of Australian wine. Maclean is the Eastern Canada sales director for Philippe Dandurand Wines, the largest importer of wines nationally in Canada.

Getting your business export ready

Keech said the Conference was not only designed with current Australian exporters in mind, but also for those looking at establishing an exporting arm for their current business.

“The Conference will look at important areas for getting your business export-ready, including export requirements for small-to-medium wineries, how to find your niche market and making the most of your working capital needs,” she said.

Other keynote speakers include Michael Batchelor, national chairman BDO Chartered Accountants & Advisers; Mark Davidson, chief winemaker of Tamburlaine Wines; David Dean, marketing manager of the Australian Wine Export Council; Bruce Tyrrell, chief executive officer Tyrrell’s Vineyards; and Andrew Corrigan MW.

Register on-line at or contact the Queensland Government’s Wine Industry Development Division on (07) 3225 2770 for more information.

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