With Vintage 2019 not too far off the horizon the Winemakers Federation of Australia (WFA) and Australian Vignerons (AV) have issued a reminder to winemakers and grape growers regarding their contracts and best business practices.

One way for both sides to advance their dealing is the Wine Industry Code of Conduct, a voluntary code which was establishing by WFA and Wine Grape Growers Australia, which is now AV. The Code provides a set of minimum standards for dealings between winegrape purchasers who are signatories, and winegrape growers.

Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive of the Winemakers Federation of Australia said: “Contractual arrangements between growers and winemakers are a crucial part of doing business.

“The Code of Conduct remains an important tool to resolve disputes, quickly and cost effectively. We always hope disputes won’t arise, but it is always possible, in even the best of trading relationships.”

The Code provides all parties with a valuable mechanism to resolve some of the disputes that can arise and help avoid expensive legal action, as both WFA and AV pointed out, no matter how good a commercial relationship might be, disputes may arise.
Anna Hooper Chief Executive of Australian Vignerons added: “It’s important that as an industry we continue to promote fair and equitable dealings and that pricing is determined and disclosed in a manner that’s transparent and mutually understood.”

In its statement about the Code, the associations stated: “The Code requires a price offer or a negotiation as part of the calculation of the price for each variety of winegrape (referred to as Indicative Regional Prices). It is important that both parties realise that indicative prices, like contractual arrangements are confidential agreements that cannot legally be shared amongst buyers or sellers. The sharing of pricing arrangements by either party outside of a contractual arrangement could be considered anti-competitive behaviour, which is illegal.”

More information on the Code is available on the Australian Wine Industry Code of Conduct website.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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