New Zealander announced as new Director General of OIV

Director General elect Dr John Barker. Image courtesy OIV

The 21st International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) General Assembly, meeting in Jerez De La Frontera, Spain, has elected Dr John Barker, from New Zealand, as Director General (DG).

The new DG will start his mandate in January 2024, the “International Year of Vine and Wine” and when the organisation celebrates its centenary.

The International Organisation of Vine and Wine is an intergovernmental organisation which issues recommendations on technical and scientific aspects of viticulture and winemaking.

It has 49 Member States and 17 Observers. In 100 years of the OIV, there has never been a DG from a Southern Hemisphere country. He will hold the position from 2024-2028.

“The power of the OIV is that it can take the lead on each of these elements at the international intergovernmental level. For me personally it is very motivating to have the chance to bring my experience and commitment to such an organisation”, said Dr Barker in his candidacy speech.

“I want to express my gratitude to the membership for the confidence and trust placed in me to take on the role of DG in 2024.  It will be a great privilege to serve the OIV… and I look forward to working with you and progressing the interests of the OIV and vine and wine sector in the centenary year.”

New Zealand Winegrowers was delighted and made a warm statement following the announcement of his election.

“New Zealand Winegrowers is thrilled that Dr Barker has been elected as Director General of the OIV. Dr Barker is an outstanding New Zealander and has a deep appreciation of the history and traditions of the global vine and wine sector, but also recognises the current opportunities and challenges that our industry is experiencing today,” says Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

Dr Barker currently runs his own legal and consulting practice, focused primarily on the wine sector and regulation in the international wine industry.

He was formerly NZ Winegrower’s General Counsel and General Manager Advocacy from 2004 to 2014.

Dr Barker has also had a long involvement with the OIV, attending his first OIV meeting in 2000 while researching his PhD thesis on the international regulation of the wine sector.

He was appointed an Expert Delegate for New Zealand in 2004 and has actively participated in the OIV for 17 years in various roles, including President, Law and Economy Commission.

“He has the vision and the commitment to grow and strengthen the OIV, to ensure that it effectively addresses the key issues facing the sector, both now and in the future. We extend our thanks to both the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Agriculture for their support,” Gregan said.

“I am very honoured to have been elected as Director General of the OIV, and I thank the New Zealand Government and New Zealand Winegrowers for their support. I believe that it is essential for the global wine sector to have a modern, effective and representative international organisation, and I look forward to working together on the opportunities and challenges facing our industry like the digital economy, climate change and the role of wine in society,” Dr Barker said.


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