989k grant to improve winegrape price transparency

The Australian grape and wine sector has secured a $989,000 grant from the Australian Government to build an online winegrape price indicator platform that will improve market transparency and inform business decision-making.

Once developed, the platform will give winegrape growers access to timely and accurate pricing information so they can better understand the market.

A consortium comprising Australian Grape & Wine, the Inland Wine Regions Alliance and Wine Australia secured the funding through the Australian Government’s Improving Market Transparency in Perishable Agricultural Good Industries initiative, and will jointly oversee the project, with Wine Australia as the lead agency.

The funding was announced by the Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, Hon David Littleproud MP, at a press conference in Canberra earlier today.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Dr Martin Cole said, “This grant is a huge win for the Australian grape and wine sector and a testament to the collaboration and cooperation between the members of the consortium.

“The sector is going through an incredibly challenging period, hit hard by COVID-19, labour shortages, China tariffs, global shipping issues and the annual challenges with a changing climate.

“The three organisations all have the same goal of improving efficiency, sustainability and profitability for the sector, and we’ve worked together to develop the project concept and ensure it meets the needs of our various stakeholders”, Dr Cole said.

Chairman of the Inland Wine Region Alliance (IWRA) Jim Caddy said the IWRA was pleased the Federal Government had invested in the development of a mechanism to improve the sector’s ability to collect and make use of price-related information.

“The online price indicator platform will give winegrape growers better access to market information, which will enable them to make more informed business decisions,” Mr Caddy said.

In addition to the platform, the project will establish a dataset of domestic wholesale sales figures based on collecting transactional data from wineries. This will align with the export dataset maintained by Wine Australia and allow a comprehensive picture to be provided of total Australian wine sales.

Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive of Australian Grape & Wine, said this project would fill a crucial gap in information currently available to the sector, and would provide wineries and growers with valuable insights into how the market is performing.

“The domestic market is by far the largest single market for Australian wine, accounting for over 40 per cent of production. Identifying trends and indicators in this market is a very important part of understanding the overall picture of supply and demand,” Mr Battaglene said.

A third component of the project will be to facilitate the use of the price indicator data by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) in order to publish independent winegrape price forecasts for commercial grapes.

“We will build a strategic partnership that will enable the wine sector to leverage ABARES’ considerable resources and economic expertise in the field of agricultural forecasting and obtain a broader perspective on grape pricing,” Dr Cole said.

“A significant value-add for the project will be the ongoing preparation of commercial winegrape price forecasts by ABARES as part of their normal activities.”

The project is expected to commence in July 2022 and be completed within 3 years.

/Public Release. View in full here.