Wine Australia and AGW release joint response to One Sector feedback

Image courtesy Wine Australia and Australian Grape & Wine

Wine Australia and Australian Grape & Wine (AGW) have joined forces to address industry feedback, after the first draft of the One Grape & Wine Sector Plan was met with some criticism.

Australian Grape & Wine CEO Lee McLean and Wine Australia CEO Dr Martin Cole said that the plan was not intended to be “prescriptive”.

“It will be up to each organisation, including representative organisations and individual businesses, to assess the Plan and set their own targets,” the two leaders said in a joint statement issued to industry today.

McLean and Dr Cole reiterated in their statement that there was “more work to do” before the plan is finalised, and thanked the sector for its feedback.

“Your engagement reinforces our belief in the power of a unified sector to drive positive change.”

The draft closed for official feedback last Monday (5 February), with some industry leaders publicising their feedback in wake of the closure. Beneficiaries of Wine Australia’s own program, the 2023 Future Leaders cohort shared their thoughts in an open letter to both organisations, expressing their concerns that the draft lacked clarity and leadership. The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) also published feedback on the plan on its website, labelling the draft “a plan to plan”.


The statement reads in full:

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the draft One Grape & Wine Sector Plan, in what we know is a challenging and busy time for our sector. Your responses are instrumental in shaping the Plan.

The views raised in response to the draft Plan were insightful and varied. There is more work to do before we release the final Plan.

While the feedback received will be considered as we reshape the final document, we note that most respondents raised the need to better define the Plan’s next steps, and we would like to take the opportunity to respond to this now to explain our view of what the plan is designed to do and what it will be used for.

The Plan aims to highlight the collective priorities identified by the grape and wine sector to encourage greater alignment of activity across the industry. Put simply, where we can work together and align our efforts and resources for a common goal, we should.

However, this is not a prescriptive plan. It will be up to each organisation, including representative organisations and individual businesses, to assess the Plan and set their own targets. This reflects the fact that while we should be united where we can, there will be areas in which our priorities will differ. It also reflects the individual governance arrangements that every organisation in the industry must abide by in crafting their own plans.

Objective of the Plan
Our objective for the One Grape and Wine Sector Plan is to help organisations and businesses to find opportunities to collaborate where they can for the common good of the industry, drawing upon the priorities grape growers, winemakers, representative organisations, research institutions and others have identified throughout the consultation process.

For example, Australian Grape & Wine will use the Plan as a key reference point as we shape our submissions to Government in relation to government policy positions or requests for government investment in our sector. This is particularly important ahead of the next Federal election.

For Wine Australia, the sector priorities and consultation feedback will inform our Annual Operational Plan effective 1 July 2024 as well as the development of the next Strategic Plan (2025–2030), which will be approved in March 2025 and effective July 2025.

Other bodies may take a similar approach, or work together to identify common areas of interest upon which they can collaborate.

The One Grape & Wine Sector Plan is not an isolated effort; rather, it provides a vehicle to align the many strategic plans within the industry. The Plan is an overarching document to encourage focus on areas for unity that address collective challenges and opportunities.

In light of your feedback, we are committed to refining and enhancing the One Grape & Wine Sector Plan to reflect the collective vision and aspirations of the industry. We intend to release the final One Grape & Wine Sector Plan mid-year.

Once again, we extend sincere thanks for your collaboration. Your engagement reinforces our belief in the power of a unified sector to drive positive change.

Kind regards,

Lee McLean and Martin Cole
CEO, Australian Grape & Wine and CEO, Wine Australia


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