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Accolade tells growers: ‘No other feasible option’

By Friday 19 April 2024April 26th, 2024No Comments

Accolade Wines says there is “no other feasible option” on the table following its offer to pay approved CCW Co-operative members $4,000 per hectare to exit contracts.

“It is critical that all growers understand the detail of our proposal and its benefits,” says Accolade chief supply chain officer Joe Russo.

“There has been a lot of discussion of the issue confronting our industry and we need to move the focus towards action and solutions.

“While it has been good to meet with growers since we launched this last week, only a small proportion of CCW’s members actually attended last week’s meetings.

“The support of CCW members is critical.

“Two-thirds of them will have to vote in favour of the proposal.

“Without their vote, the package cannot proceed – and the risks are much higher for everyone and the outcome much more uncertain.

“There is currently no other feasible option on the table that allows us as an industry to manage the outcome and our future.

“This package provides all growers with greater certainty and clarity.

“It allows us all to manage a difficult transition more smoothly, it allows those who wish to exit, to do so with dignity and those who want to continue, to do so with greater confidence.”

Accolade has launched a website outlining its proposed solution to address the pressing challenges confronting the Riverland wine industry and its growers.

WBM asked Accolade what would happen if two-thirds of CCV members voted yes but not enough growers volunteered to be paid out.

“The offer is voluntary and should CCW growers vote yes, we would expect the buy-out to be well-subscribed,” an Accolade spokesman says.

” And the buy-out process will be open to red varietals only via an application process.”

Accolade says the key points of its its proposal to growers are:

• A voluntary buy-out option for red winegrapes for those who wish to take it up. Growers choosing to participate in this buy-out keep their contract with CCW and have the choice of keeping their vines and sell to others, diversifying their grapes or exiting the industry.

• This proposal will go some way toward addressing the structural imbalance and red wine grape glut, providing a more stable, sustainable, and certain industry for the future. It provides set tenure of contracts with substantial notice periods and it offers to cover the cost of CCW’s bulk wine contract – removing a significant financial burden from the cooperative.

• Pricing will be transparently set by the Weighted District Average, rather than a confusing and outdated market price often applied by an independent expert.

“As an industry, for us to continue as if no response is required simply isn’t sustainable. We have a shared responsibility to face into this challenge and respond,” Mr Russo said.

“We’re wanting to take a constructive approach to the biggest industry challenge in many years.

“We’re keen to keep working with CCW and have listened and adapted in developing this package.”

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