18 November 2020
South Australia’s wine sector must be considered an essential service under COVID-19 restrictions
South Australia’s recent COVID-19 outbreak is deeply concerning for everyone living and working in SA. Today’s announcement of a six-day lock-down period, and what this means for grape and wine businesses in the lead up to the 2021 vintage is adding to our worries.
Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive of Australian Grape & Wine said this afternoon, “We fully support the need to take strong and immediate measures to combat the latest outbreak of Coronavirus in South Australia”.
“However, we need clarity about what these measures mean for our vineyard and winery workers, and for grape and wine businesses”
“Our wineries and vineyards have proven they can operate in a COVID-safe manner, just as they did earlier this year, and as they have been doing in Victoria as it worked to successfully reduce cases of Coronavirus” said Mr Battaglene.
Fires, smoke damage, falling tourism numbers and increasing trade tensions have plagued Australian grape growers and winemakers in 2020, with the likelihood of a low vintage in 2021.
“The process of winemaking doesn’t stop after the grapes are picked” said Mr Battaglene.
“We know we can operate safely as an industry, to help South Australia’s economy continue to recover from a really difficult year”.
“What we need now is clear advice from the South Australian Government that grape growing and winemaking is included in its list of essential services that can continue to operate under the new restrictions.” said Mr Battaglene.
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About Australian Grape and Wine Inc
Australian Grape and Wine Inc is the national association of grape and wine producers. We address issues across the supply-chain that impact on the profitability and sustainability of the sector. We lead and advocate public policy that enhances the ability to responsibly produce, promote and enjoy Australian wine in moderation.
Australian Grape & Wine is recognised as a representative organisation for winegrape and wine producers under the Wine Australia Act 2013, and is incorporated under the SA Associations Incorporation Act 1985. We work in partnership with the Australian Government to develop and implement policy that is in the best interests of winegrape growers and winemakers across Australia.