Members of the Victorian wine industry came together last week to discuss some of the bigger challenges facing the state’s producers.
The annual Victorian Wine Industry Conference and Victorian Wine Industry Association (VWIA) annual meetings were held at Melbourne Show Grounds, providing an opportunity to discuss water availability and climate change, while developing key messages for export markets.
A new executive was also voted in and considerable appreciation was shown to outgoing chairman of three years, Michael Matthew.
The conference theme of ‘Turning water into wine…is your glass really only 5 per cent full?’ built on the “Environmentally Cool Wine Business Toolkit”.
Developed by the VWIA, the toolkit aims to ensure Victorian wine businesses are equipped to address the challenges presented by climate change and water availability.
Dr Richard Smart was among the speakers, who claimed climate change is the greatest challenge facing the industry in its 230 years, which led to discussions on new and innovative ways to trade and use water.
VWIA chief executive Joanne Butterworth-Gray said there was an urgent need for the wine industry to take the lead in environmental best practice at both a state and national level.
“Our role is to provide businesses with discussion forums, access to leading edge thinking and practical tools to raise awareness and drive adoption of environmental management systems,” she said.
The VWIA will roll out a series of seminars over the coming year, developed in conjunction with the Council Delegates, as the organisation harnesses regional input and builds on existing programs.