Media Release

New merger the toast of Australia’s wine industry

14 November 2013

Legislation introduced today by the Coalition Government will see the creation of a single statutory authority offering centralised marketing and R&D support for Australia’s $3.4 billion wine industry.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said a single authority for the Australian wine industry was yet another step in the Australian Government’s commitment to ease regulatory burden, increase returns to producers and improve market access.

“To enhance the profitability and sustainability of our wine sector we need our R&D and marketing investments to create real returns to the farm gate and cellar door,” Minister Joyce said.

“This legislation and the new Australian Grape and Wine Authority it establishes will help improve efficiencies and links under a unified strategy.”

The merger brings together the research and development functions of the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) and the Wine Australia Corporation’s marketing and export oversight functions. It follows a proposal by key industry bodies, Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and Wine Grape Growers Australia.

“A key priority for this government has been to reduce the business burdens for producers so they can get on with the work of being world-class wine grape growers, wine makers and exporters of quality wine,” Minister Joyce said.

“Critical to the future successes of our valuable sector will be growth in our competiveness and innovation.

“The Australian Government, along with the new Authority, will continue to work with wine producers to identify and maximise market access conditions.”

Australia is a leader in wine exports with well established markets in Europe and North America. Australia’s total wine export trade was valued at $1.8 billion in 2012.

The Australian Grape and Wine Authority will start operations from 1 July 2014, it will undertake the same functions as the previous two organisation and will operate under the existing levy and fees structure.