Australian Vignerons and Winemakers' Federation of Australia amalgamate to form Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated.
On 13th November 2018 Australian Vignerons (AV) and Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA) convened their annual general meetings. At both meetings, members unanimously voted to amalgamate and form Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated (AGWI) - a united national body that will see wine grape growers and winemakers collaborate together at the national level.
Wine Grape Council of SA (WGCSA) Chair Heather Webster commented that she was thrilled that both national bodies delivered on the simplification that members had been asking for and working towards for several years.
Heather said, 'Having a united national industry body will bring increased benefits to our SA members through strong unified advocacy. Relationships will be further strengthened with winemakers and it is great to know that the interests of our vignerons, irrespective of size, are represented on national issues affecting the grape and wine sector through one strong voice to government.'
Business Manager Lisa Bennier commented that it was a significant move forward for the whole grape and wine industry and congratulated all involved in achieving such a monumental outcome. 'Due to SA wine grape growers holding the majority membership of Australian Vignerons, both Heather and I have been involved in many of the discussions leading to this outcome. We could not be more pleased with the aligned focus and respect shown by all involved.'
Lisa continues, 'In particular we acknowledge the collaboration and leadership by the Chairs of both organisations, Sandy Clark and Jo Andrews, along with CEO's Tony Battaglene and Anna Hooper. To achieve what they have is no easy task and shows how working collaboratively can produce significant outcomes for grape growers and winemakers alike.'
Lisa encouraged all wine grape growers to become members of the new entity. She said 'There is undisputable strength in numbers. If growers wish to receive the highest level of national representation and benefits, become a member. Together we can unite for the future success and sustainability of our Australian Grape and Wine Industry.'
For South Australia's independent wine grape growers this is a very simple process. If you pay the current $1/tonne state contribution you're already a member of WGCSA and therefore will be a member of the new national body, Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated. This is thanks to part of your voluntary contribution already being directed to the national body on your behalf.
The new amalgamated entity will be represented by 4 committees - Large Winemakers, Medium Winemakers, Small Winemakers and Vignerons. Each committee will provide 4 Directors to the new board for an initial term of one year.
WGCSA, on behalf of the new member committee, will appoint the four inaugural Vigneron Directors to the board. These positions are significant to the success of the new entity and require individuals who are capable of representing the whole viticulture industry at a national level. WGCSA Councillors are currently engaged in determining the selection process, we will provide further details once confirmed.
WGCSA is excited by this announcement and will continue to play an active, positive and supportive role in the future success of Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated.