Treasury says government support is needed to help inland growers facing hardship

Treasury Wine Estates CEO Tim Ford. Image courtesy TWE

Following news last week of Australian Grape & Wine’s pre-budget submission to Treasurer Jim Chalmers, Treasury Wine Estates has reiterated the need for government support, and emphasised its backing of the investment outlined in the submission.

Joining forces with major players in Australia’s wine industry, Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) urged the Federal Government to ease the plight of winegrowers across inland regions who continue to suffer from a devastating oversupply of commercial red wine grapes.

“The challenges facing commercial wine growers in Australia are not unique,” said Tim Ford, CEO at TWE.

“Governments around the world, including those in countries such as Chile, the United States, and France, have taken decisive action to provide support packages running into the hundreds of millions of dollars to alleviate similar burdens on wine growers in recent years.

“Without the appropriate level of government support, Australia’s inland commercial wine growers and their communities are facing a future of continued uncertainty and hardship.”

Australian Grape & Wine (AGW) CEO Lee McLean emphasised the current plight of commercial growers will extend to Australia’s broader $45 billion wine industry without immediate government assistance to boost regional tourism and help Australian wine break into new global markets.

“We are at a critical point where the Australian wine industry needs immediate investment to ensure its survival,” said Mclean.

“We encourage the government to implement these measures in the 2024-25 Federal Budget to alleviate some of the pressure our grape growers and wine makers are experiencing.”


About the pre-budget submission

Australian Grape & Wine’s letter to Treasurer Jim Chalmers outlined its submission to support the Australian wine industry ahead of the upcoming Federal Budget.

The letter, co-signed by TWE and other leading wine producers including Taylors, Angove, De Bortoli, Casella, Hill-Smith Family Estates, Calabria, Pernod-Ricard Winemakers and Berton Vineyards, calls for an $86 million investment that addresses three critical areas:

  • Provide a sustainability support package to help affected growers adapt to more sustainable practices, transition to a more profitable crop, or make the difficult decision to exit the sector;
  • Help the wine industry diversify into new export markets beyond China, and;
  • Drive domestic tourism to grape-growing regions to inject much-needed revenue into struggling communities.

Compounding factors including recent trade challenges, climate change impacts, and changing consumer preferences have resulted in commercial grape profitability hitting historic lows and leaving commercial wine growers – particularly in inland regions such as Riverina, Riverland and Murray Darling – with no choice but to exit the industry.

Read Australian Grape & Wine’s 2024-25 Pre-Budget Submission.

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