Key issues centred on the growth of Barossa’s brand – including grapes and wine – were discussed during a meeting on Tuesday involving regional and state stakeholders.
Led by Barossa Grape and Wine Association, the post-election gathering was to establish early on, strong links between local bodies committed to growing the industry’s reputation.
In attendance was Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone and Schubert MP Stephan Knoll.
According to BGWA chief executive officer James March, the talks, held at Hentley Farm, Seppeltsfield, was much more than a ‘meet and greet’ between the BGWA and state leaders.
Mr March explained how discussions enabled he and board members, to highlight critical elements needed to continue to grow the Barossa Brand as the nation’s global wine and food region.
“Not only in terms of wine and grapes, but also for food, hospitality, accommodation and tourism,” he said.
“The plan is to continue to work closely with state government, so that we can better align and grow the Barossa”.
Issues discussed included water allocation, infrastructure planning and tourism, and growth with overseas markets, achieved in China and North America.
“These (issues) reflects the Barossa’s standing as a region; and our ability to plan together, to speak cohesively is a positive move,” Mr March said.
He further announced how a trade office is anticipated to open in the US to further promote the Barossa Brand.
In response, Mr Whetstone shared how peak bodies such as BGWA can help the state government to assist with their growth and opportunity expectations.
“For me the meeting was about better understanding what the region needs,”
“This includes support for growth in tourism, employment and infrastructure.”
The Riverland irrigator of 30 years, who said he well understands droughts, explained how infrastructure planning, such as water allocation is about having a good plan in place.
He refers to the region’s unique stance in having access to bore water, mains and rain water.
The alliance, also supported by Schubert MP Stephan Knoll, further affirmed for him how the new state government is about enabling growth and development across the entire state.
“This means we are moving away from grants for individual businesses towards a more all-encompassing approach which looks at the factors which may be hindering business – and, particularly in the Barossa, tourism – growth.
“We discussed some of these inhibiting factors on Tuesday, and identified key areas to help progress Barossa wine and tourism businesses.
“As Minister (for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure), a lot of these cross into my area of responsibility.
“I’m looking forward to working with BGWA and the other relevant ministers to put these plans into action,” Mr Knoll said
Meanwhile, from May 29-31 BGWA take 20-plus Barossa brands to a large audience in Hong Kong to further promote the industry.
And in July, ‘Barossa Be Consumed’ – a one-day celebration of all the things that define this unique and special place – kicks off in Sydney.
It will mean more than 50 Barossa wineries and food producers will be on show to further throw a spotlight on the region’s wine, food, culture and history.