Carbon tax prompts mixed feelings from wine sector

A carbon tax will give wine producers incentive to modernise with green operations, but soaring electricity and transport costs could hit the industry at the bottom line.

The Federal Government’s announcement of a carbon tax, which will see the country’s top 500 polluters pay $23 per tonne of carbon from 1 July 2012, has prompted a mixed response from the country’s chief winemakers’ organisation.

The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia have posted a statement on its website saying wine companies were unlikely to be included in the top 500 polluters.

But concern was raised that industries heavily impacted by the tax – such as transport due to rising fuel prices – could pass costs on to wine producers down the supply chain.

WFA manager, natural resources, Jonathan Green said the carbon tax wasn’t all bad news.

“The best news is that we’ve got an opportunity to modernise and improve our practices and equipment with the support of government grants,” Green said.

“For wineries that haven’t really thought much about energy efficiency, this is a prompt to get involved with that and get an energy audit done and find out how can they can cut down on energy use.”

The August edition of the Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine will feature a comprehensive story about how the carbon tax will impact the wine industry, and the grants available to producers.

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