Wine industry forum to address key challenges

A forum addressing key issues confronting winegrape growers and winemakers will be held by the Murray Valley Winegrowers (MVW) in Mildura on the 12th of June.

The Murray Valley Winegrowers Outlook Forum will include speakers such as Adam Fennessy, Secretary of the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry, Lee McLean, CEO of Australian Grape & Wine and Dr Martin Cole, CEO of Wine Australia.

MVW revealed Adam Fennessy’s attendance in a news release yesterday, noting Fennessy’s position as the most senior official within the Department. “Rarely is someone of his stature available outside of Canberra,” said the association.

“We think this is a really positive development in engaging with the Federal Government, and a good turnout of wine industry people is expected at the forum to show that our industry is at a critical juncture and that government intervention is desperately needed,” MVW CEO Paul Derrico said.

Industry insights

Speakers at the forum will cover a diverse range of topics relevant to winegrape growers, winemakers, and supporting industries, all of whom need to stay well-informed of industry activities and developments, explained Derrico.

“This is the most significant gathering of the wine industry in the Murray Valley region in recent times and is a great opportunity to gain valuable insights into the issues that affect wine businesses in the region,” he said.

Lee McLean, CEO of Australian Grape & Wine will provide insights into the domestic and global dynamics of the wine industry, government interaction and policy settings, the One Sector Plan, AGW’s response to the Federal Budget, and the Viticulture and Wine Sector Working Group taskforce.

Joe Banks, Senior Retail Manager Water Entitlements & Markets, the Department of Energy, Environment & Climate Action (DEECA) will speak on the Victorian State Government’s Prospectus to safeguard Victoria’s environments and communities in the Murray-Darling Basin (Planning our Basin Future Together).

Simone George, from Ciatti Australia, will provide an overview of the global wine scene, noting key markets and issues, and the effect this has on the outlook for supply and demand of Australian grapes and wine, in particular the influence on the inland regions grape prices.

Dr Martin Cole, CEO of Wine Australia will present at the Forum; he’ll update the meeting on what he has discovered in his two years in the role, in what has been a very challenging period for the wine industry; reflecting on the many meetings he’s had with people from all aspects and regions and then give some thoughts on the future direction of Australia’s leading wine industry body, including the geopolitical factors that influence Australia’s wine sales program

David Salisbury, General Manager Small Business & Agriculture, from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) will talk on the Wine Grapes Market Study (Outcomes and where to from here?), The Supermarket Inquiry, Unfair Contract Terms, and Mandatory Codes of Conduct.

The forum will start at 12.30 pm at Willow & Ivie, Irymple Ave. Nichols Point, concluding around 4.30 pm, followed by an informal catch-up over refreshments.

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