By Andrew Starke
Western Australia’s wine industry has received a $377,000 shot in the arm from State Government designed to help it target overseas markets.
Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman said the funding, over the next three years, would help market the State’s premium wines into targeted international destinations.
“The State Government’s commitment, through the Department of Agriculture and Food, will amount to one-third of the total funding, with the balance to come from industry itself,” Redman said
The WA wine industry is a significant contributor to the State's economy, generating regional employment, capital investment and wine tourism.
Redman said participation in the WA Wine Industry Association’s international marketing plan would bring benefits to all wine regions and premium producers at all levels.
“Smaller non-exporting producers of top quality wines should still benefit from international marketing efforts because more overseas sales will result in more space in local markets,” he said.
“In recent years, WA wine exports have declined as a result of the high Australian dollar, strong overseas competition, the global financial crisis, fewer tourists and heavy discounting by major wine retailers.
”This Government investment is about partnering industry to reverse those declines.”
The funding comes after discussions between the Department of Agriculture and Food, the WA Wine Industry Association, the Margaret River and Great Southern wine associations and overseas trade offices over the past two years to develop an acceptable international marketing plan.
“Our marketing edge and our point of difference is the production of high quality, distinctive regional wines,” said Redman.
“While we produce less than one percent of Australia’s wine exports by volume, we double this by value, evidenced by wine from leading producers gracing the wine lists of leading restaurants around the world.”