Export is an important economic driver for Victoria and key profitability indicator for the wine industry. Victoria's food sector is the State's most valuable export category. In 2012-13 this sector was worth $7.6 billion, accounting for 26 per cent of Australia's total food exports. Victoria exports wine to almost 80 countries worth $675 million per annum.
Tourism is also important to the prosperity of Victoria. In 2011-12, the direct and indirect contribution of tourism in Victoria was estimated at $19.1 billion, almost half ($10.9 billion) of this was generated in regional Victoria. Distinct wine regions and cellar door experiences were identified as a key part of this economic success - this is no surprise as Victoria has more than 600 wineries with cellar doors that receive 1.5 million winery visitors per year. Wine-specific tourism in Victoria is worth $1.04 billion per annum.
During the past two months I have been engaging with our membership to understand what our industry sees as areas of key issues and opportunities, the purpose being to ensure our members are supported to get a larger share of the tourism and export dollars.
One of the key findings from our membership survey was that the majority of respondents derived less than 40 percent of their 2012-13 annual income from cellar door visitation and/or exports.
When considered in the context of current industry profitability issues that are occurring due to product oversupply and retailer concentration, finding new international markets and increasing sales through cellar doors must be a priority.
As you will read about in this newsletter the Victorian Government has committed funding to these key areas and Wine Victoria will be working with key stakeholders such as Wine Australia and the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation to ensure that our industry receives a share of this investment.
To see the outcome of our engagement activities please click here.