Media Releases

Statement: How the AWRI is supporting Wine Australia’s and the wine sector’s changing needs in extension and adoption

19 March 2024

The Australian wine sector is dealing with an unprecedented set of global market demand and profitability challenges causing downward pressure on total grape crush and on research and development levies. There is a heightened sense of urgency for these levies to be invested efficiently and in a way that delivers the greatest impact for producers.

The need for change is clear and well documented, and the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) is aware that we too, must continue to evolve and improve. Earlier this month, Wine Australia published a news piece forecasting changes to how research Extension and Adoption (E & A) activities may evolve to achieve greater impact and value to industry. This follows the ACIL Allen Report Independent Performance Review of Wine Australia, released in January 2024.

The AWRI Board and Executive support the call for change, while at the same time, upholding AWRI’s unique and established organisational capability to deliver world-class research, extension and adoption outcomes to the sector.

AWRI remains committed to partnering with Wine Australia and the Australian wine sector to:

  • Continue to support the Australian wine industry with world-class technical solutions and knowledge provision
  • Continue to act as an important extension and adoption conduit for the sector
  • Increase industry engagement in research and innovation during project design and delivery
  • Improve our understanding of industry stakeholder needs and respond to these needs through E&A programs that deliver real practice improvements
  • Strengthen research impact through innovation and increased collaboration with other research providers
  • Work with industry partners to better articulate the outcomes of research projects to ensure commercial relevance and application.

AWRI is home to some of the world’s best talent in grape and wine research, and our track record of innovation spanning nearly 70 years is the envy of many other wine-producing nations. We are committed to ensure our organisation’s skills and capabilities are matched to the immediate and longer-term needs of the industry. Thus, while we acknowledge and embrace the need for change, it’s essential we collectively proceed carefully, to mitigate any associated risks the proposed changes may inadvertently create for the sector.

Our mission remains steadfast – to continue to support the Australian grape and wine industry through world-class research, practical solutions and knowledge transfer. AWRI looks forward to continuing to build the capability for world-class research, extension and adoption in the Australian wine sector. We welcome the continued ability to contribute to, and help shape, future competitive advantages for Australian grape growers and winemakers.

AWRI will keep our stakeholders updated on progress as Wine Australia’s proposed changes to E&A capabilities, capacity and delivery evolve throughout 2024, to ensure that the industry’s current and future needs remain front of mind.

For further comment or questions please contact AWRI Managing Director Mark Krstic or (08) 8313 6600.