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Wine industry toasts 15 new marketing workshops.

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DAFF05/001WTJ - 5 January 2005

Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss Chief Executive Winemakers' Federation of Australia, Stephen Strachan

Wine industry toasts 15 new marketing workshops

The joint government/industry training initiative - WineSkills - is back with 15 new workshops proposed for the Australian wine industry, Agriculture Minister Warren Truss and CEO of the Winemakers' Federation of Australia Stephen Strachan announced today.

Mr Truss said the workshops have been developed in partnership with the Winemakers' Federation and funded from the Australian Government's Industry Partnerships Program, and will help small to medium winemakers better negotiate the marketplace maze.

"WineSkills II builds on the initial workshop series held last year and earlier this year, and will help develop an on-going training program for the Australian wine industry," he said. "The 15 new workshops will be held in wine growing regions in Victoria, WA, SA, Queensland, the ACT, NSW and Tasmania (full details attached).

"Industry and government learnt a great deal during those highly successful initial workshops - lessons that have helped create a further, more targeted program that will deliver the right mix of practical skills and understanding needed to tackle the marketplace."

Mr Strachan said that few industries are confronted with so many different ways of selling their products as the wine industry.

"That includes targeting consumers directly through cellar door or mail order; retailers through in-house distribution or via a distributor; the export market and the growing tourism market - all of which affect profitability and long-term success," he said.

"For many smaller producers, the challenge of setting and achieving sales targets through these various methods is a little like negotiating a maze - the WineSkills II workshops will help provide producers with the skills and confidence to make the right choices."

"The two-day workshops will be tailored to meet the needs of wineries that crush less than 1,000 tonnes of grapes. They will also include a session by an expert in wine tourism."

Mr Truss said the remarkable success of WineSkills is a good example of what can be achieved when government and industry work together.

"I encourage people from small-to-medium wine businesses - those that crush under 1,000 tonnes of wine a year - to attend one of the WineSkills II workshops," he said.

Further information on the workshops, including registration forms, is available on the WineSkills web site - Detailed information on WineSkills II is available by calling Stephen Strachan, Winemakers' Federation of Australia, on 0438 847 418, or John Power, Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, on (02) 6272 5713.

Further media inquiries: Minister Truss's office:

Rodger Skivington (02) 6277 7520 or 0408 627 227 Winemakers':

Stephen Strachan 0438 847 418

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