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Financial constraints prompt AWRI downsizing

 

The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) has confirmed that it is in the process of “downsizing”, following ongoing financial pressures which it says are due in part to reduced levy funding.

“The Australian Wine Research Institute has this week commenced a consultation period with staff regarding a downsizing of our workforce,” said Mark Krstic, managing director of the AWRI.

“This is occurring in response to an extended period of financial pressure, in part caused by reductions in levy funding due to recent lower vintages.

“Over a four-week period we will work through various options before confirming the outcome of the process.

“We remain fully committed to our role as the industry’s own research organisation and are determined to continue supporting the Australian grape and wine community through world-class research, practical solutions and knowledge transfer.”

The AWRI raised concerns earlier this year about the current levy system, following the release of the draft One Grape and Wine Sector Plan in February.

The AWRI made public its feedback on the draft plan, saying it had “missed a huge opportunity” to review the current R&D and marketing levies, which it believed should be addressed with urgency.

“AWRI is aligned with the views of many thought leaders within the sector that reform of the levy system is a very high priority to be addressed by Wine Australia and Australian Grape & Wine with urgency,” said the organisation in its feedback on the draft.

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