Rural Business Support’s Commitment to the Wine Industry

The South Australian wine industry is facing significant challenges, and wine-grape growers, particularly in the Riverland region, are experiencing the impact of a global red wine oversupply and disease. At Rural Business Support (RBS), we recognise the importance of the wine-grape sector to the local, state and national economies, and we continue to support growers during these challenging times. We are working collaboratively alongside industry associations and government bodies to support grape growers, via the following initiatives.

Understanding the Challenges

Wine-grape growers in the Riverland region, which contributes a significant portion to the nation’s annual crush, are being pressed to diversify crops or consider alternative options due to the oversupply of red wine grapes. Riverland Wine, a representative body for the industry, describes the current situation as one of the toughest since the Millennium Drought in the early 2000s. Growers are faced with tough decisions, such as minimising expenses and exploring alternative grape varieties or other crops. Some are making the hard decision to completely remove vines.

RBS Assisting Wine-Grape Growers

In assisting wine-grape growers, RBS via our experienced team of Business Financial Counsellors (BFCs) provides individually tailored financial counselling support to the unique needs of each individual grape grower. We understand the complexities of the wine-grape industry and can use this knowledge to help growers navigate the financial aspects of their businesses.
We are mindful that the challenges of the wine-grape growers flow onto other related agricultural businesses, also putting them at risk, due to the hardship the wine industry faces. RBS is available to offer the same financial counselling support service to these businesses, assisting them to understand the financial challenges in their business and what proactive actions they can take to minimise the impact.

Our BCF’s can support them to:

  • Assess and understand their current financial position.
  • Navigate financial challenges.
  • Develop budgets and cashflows.
  • Negotiate with creditors.
  • Prepare for discussions with business partners, the bank or the ATO.
  • Access dispute resolution services.
  • Seek broader professional advice and support.

Collaboration with Industry Associations

We take a collaborative approach to our work, RBS is actively engaged in partnering with industry associations, such as Riverland Wine, CCW Cooperative, the Wine Grape Council SA and the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) to ensure a coordinated approach to support wine-grape growers, and their associated agricultural businesses. By working together, we can leverage collective knowledge and resources to provide comprehensive assistance.

Expanding Support Programs

RBS, in collaborative partnership with the Wine Grape Council of SA’s Future Drought Fund Project, is expanding our Business Management Programs to meet the evolving needs of wine-grape growers. This new program is designed to support growers in identifying and understanding their financial position, seeking to enhance their financial stability and support them in implementing proactive risk-management strategies. All will assist growers in building a more resilient business and adapting to changing market dynamics.

If you are a wine-grape grower or related agricultural business seeking support, we encourage you to reach out to us at Rural Business Support.

FREECALL 1800 836 211 – Free, independent and confidential.