Vintage 2023 not business as usual

RBS CEO Brett Smith. Image RBS

Growers could be heading for uncertain times, dealing with the harsh reality of this year’s upcoming vintage.

Business financial counsellors Rural Business Support said they were prepared for an increase in enquiries about how winegrape growers can prepare for changes to their income when faced with oversupply issues, increases in shipping and freight costs, the ongoing impact of China’s wine trade tariff and market values dropping, particularly with Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties.

Rural Business Support CEO, Brett Smith, suggested that growers should act now, as waiting until the start of vintage could affect your ability to sustain or recover from the financial impact you may suffer.

“We have found that business owners who consider possible cashflow scenarios and think practically about their options in different situations are usually better prepared to work through their business challenges,” said Brett Smith, CEO Rural Business Support.

“We hope that by thinking through some options and preparing contingency plans for the immediate future wine grape growers and agricultural contractors for the wine industry will be better prepared for Vintage 2023.”

According to RBS; growers with expiring contracts may find their only option is surplus fruit being put on the ground and some growers may already be experiencing financial concerns or hardship.

Other growers may not yet be aware that their expiring contract might not be likely to be renewed for Vintage 2023 until later in the year.

Resting vines may be a short-term solution, but with lower payments from March onwards, resting vines is unlikely to cover input or overhead costs. Similarly, it may be possible to rework patches but there may be a delay in receiving rootstock or buds.


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