New Kiwi OIV director’s ambitious agenda

John Barker, OIV director general

The first official act of the new OIV director general, John Barker, took place on 11 January in Dijon, at the OIV’s New Year celebration 2024. Barker shared his objectives for 2024 and his perspectives on the new 5-year strategic plan of the OIV (2025-2029).

In presence of OIV President Luigi Moio, representatives from the diplomatic corps, administrations and professionals from the vine and wine sector, John Barker said that it was a privilege to be taking the position of director general in its one hundredth year and the international year of vine and wine.

The OIV’s centenary is an “opportunity to celebrate a century of achievements, to reinforce the commitment of Members to the Organisation, to raise the OIV’s profile and to look forward to the next 100 years and beyond”, said Barker.  The new OIV director general said he believes that “the leadership and collaboration that the OIV provides are needed today more than ever to help member countries to master the challenges and profit from the opportunities facing the vine and wine sector today”.

The director general emphasised the important link between wine and vine products and the land, the climate and the people of their place of origin, which gives them both economic and culture significance. He noted the OIV’s commitment to the integrity and authenticity of all products of the vine, as well as to responsible and moderate consumption.

Looking ahead, Barker aims for the new Strategic Plan to set an ambitious agenda for the start of the OIV’s second century, with a strong scientific focus on the elements that will determine the future of the vine and wine sector, such as climate change and sustainability.

The new director also discussed his aim to review the structures and processes of the OIV in line with the expectations or Members and the new Strategic Plan. Finally, he stressed his commitment to increasing the Organisation’s membership and expanding the recognition of the OIV among non-Member countries, other international organisations and the vitivinicultural sector.

Major events will mark the Organisation’s life in 2024: the OIV centenary celebration, the 45th World Congress of Vine and Wine, the renewal of its 5-year Strategic Plan and the inauguration of the new headquarters at the Hôtel Bouchu d’Esterno in Dijon.

Elected during the 21st OIV General Assembly held in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) on June 9th 2023, John Barker assumed his role as director general of the OIV for a five-year term, starting on 1 January.

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