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VinPro has been instrumental in formalising and rolling out structures that establish an even playing field for its members, industry stakeholders and other parties concerned. The company looked back on milestones at its Annual General Meeting in November.

Through the Wine Industry Strategic Exercise (Wise), the South African wine and brandy industry has rolled out 10 projects aimed at fuelling progress and removing barriers to success. The process has been influential in improving collaboration among industry, government and labour towards a robust, globally competitive and profitable industry. Highlights include the formulation of a Wine Tourism Strategy and Local Market Project and the launch of a Learner Management System.

VinPro focused in 2017 on feedback, relevance and integration.

Feedback

The industry representative body has been active on more than 50 government and industry forums, participating in liquor law negotiations with Nedlac, making presentations to Treasury on excise duties, chairing the relaunched alcohol awareness organisation Aware.org (previously known as ARA) and cooperating with stakeholders to curb illegal trade. Various information days, workshops, presentations and individual discussions provided valuable feedback from every region and link in the value chain.

Relevance

Weather patterns and the exchange rate are uncontrollable, but they can be navigated by adapting business practices and ensuring a sound strategy to mitigate risks. Deeper dialogue with its members and the industry enabled VinPro to adapt its approach and remain relevant in its offerings to members.

VinPro’s viticulturists assist producers in dealing with the persistent drought and managing water consumption in the vineyard. VinPro affiliate Vititec drives the propagation of specific drought-resistant cultivars. These and other relevant viticultural issues will be investigated further through the Gen-Z project which brings research and trials back to the farm.

A healthy, motivated and educated workforce leads to greater productivity. Apart from training nearly 700 vineyard workers, VinPro launched its first pruning course and training DVD in Xhosa.

Realising the importance of mentorship and support for transformation to make business sense, the transformation and development division assisted black-owned brands and producers to gain access to funding, technical support and market access. Through VinPro’s involvement in the wine industry transformation unit, 14 black-owned brands took their wines countrywide during a Treasure Chest roadshow.

Integration

Sensible integration of knowledge and resources will drive further added value. VinPro identified opportunities for more efficient packaging, including the following:

Integrating the agricultural economics division’s profitability indicators with relevant information from affiliate FarmMS

Distribution of the WineLand BEAT e-newsletter to supplement the monthly magazine with integrated information from business units Wosa, Winetech and Sawis

Stronger focus on career advancement opportunities in addition to training through involvement with the VinPro Foundation and the industry’s Transformation unit and introduction of the Learner Management System, an extension of the Wise project.

VinPro is there for you with assistance and advice from the soil to the shelf. The new year will see a more integrated approach, from feasibility studies to soil advice, vines, viticulture consultation and software that makes administration from the vineyard to the cellar easier.

The way forward

The world and environment in which the wine industry operates is evolving at an ever increasing pace. To remain relevant, every link in the wine industry value-chain has to identify, anticipate and adapt to changes on the horizon. VinPro and its partners in industry remain committed to supporting this endeavour.

 

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