Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00

A message from The Hon Louise Asher MP

Over the coming decades, Asia's demand for food will double and consumer preferences will change. Victoria will have a distinct advantage in meeting those demands because of our reputation for safe produce, our long record of excellence in agricultural research and innovation, our skilled workforce and our close ties with Asia. As such, the Victorian Government is specifically concentrating on China, India, the Gulf States and South East Asia.

In 2012-13, Victoria's fastest growing markets for wine exports were Hong Kong (up 62 per cent), mainland China (up 19 per cent), Singapore (up 15 per cent) and New Zealand (up 12 per cent). The Philippines and Thailand are also high-potential markets for Victorian winemakers. Other priority markets for Victoria include long-standing trading partner, Japan and the emerging markets of the Republic of South Korea, Latin America, Turkey, Europe and the United States.

The Government's export objectives can be summarised as four key pillars:

  • Export Skills, knowledge and expertise
  • Promoting Victorian Business
  • Export Development through Trade Missions
  • Export Advocacy and Regulation

Each of these pillars support export of Victorian wine through a range of activities, including: facilitating inbound trade missions, delegations to export destinations and trade events; the Access Program, and the overseas Victorian Government Business Offices (VGBO) network; and the Governor of Victoria Export Awards program. To date, the Victorian Government has facilitated 10 Super Trade Missions, with participating companies reporting projected increased export sales of over $3.6 billion for the 24-months following the mission.

While eight of Victoria's top ten export markets are in Asia and the Middle East, the Victorian Government has a global focus. The Victorian Government has offices in seventeen countries throughout the world, and our Trade Mission Program develops strategic, sustained and deep commercial and cultural engagement with our major and emerging trading partners, which includes the Americas and Europe. Victorian wineries have individually accessed the trade mission program to attend events in the US and UK markets.

Small- to medium-sized wineries are best placed to benefit from Government activities designed to increase export. There also may be potential for regionally based winemakers to develop a co-operative, which would need to be an industry-driven decision. Possible advantages to members of a co-operative, in comparison to pursuing winemaking and marketing alone, include pooling of resources and sharing costs for winemaking and marketing, which often call for costly equipment and technical expertise.

The State Government will continue to deliver inbound and outbound Food and Beverage Trade Missions. The Victorian Government plans to support a dedicated wine program during Food and Beverage Trade Week in 2015, building on the success in 2014 when more than 20 high-level international wine buyers were hosted by the State, meeting more than 60 Victorian wineries.

It has been a great result so far and the State Government will continue to deliver inbound and outbound Food and Beverage Trade Missions which benefit all Victorians.

Louise Asher
Minister for Tourism and Major Events
Minister for Trade and Employment
Minister for Innovation