Australian Grape & Wine has slammed a social media campaign aimed at urging Australians to steer clear of 41 Australian wineries, after a viral list revealed they were owned or part-owned by Chinese companies.
The campaign is in response to punitive import duties placed on Australian wine.
“This type of campaign fails to recognise that all grape, wine and export businesses contribute to Australian regional investment, jobs and economic growth,” says Tony Battaglene, chief executive of Australian Grape & Wine.
“Boycotting companies because of their investors is harmful to the Australian economy and particularly to rural and regional Australia.
“I am outraged and disappointed that this campaign targets Chinese owned businesses.
“The Australia-Chinese community is an important and valued part of the Australian wine sector.
“They make great wine, employ local people and generate money into the local and national economy.
“I would also emphasise that the Chinese consumers also continue to value our wine, but will be unable to access our wine due to the unjustified and punitive import duties that have been placed on our wine in China.
“If Australians really want to support the grape and wine sector, then buy a case of Australian wine for your friends, give it to them for Christmas and then every time you share a bottle with family and friends you will know you are helping rural and regional Australia.
“Let’s not unjustifiably target a group who are valued members of the community.”
China has imposed a preliminary determination in the anti-dumping investigation that involves an import duty on all Australian produced bottled wine ranging from 107 percent to over 212 percent.
“The duties will be in place for at least four months and possibly as long as 12 months,” Battaglene says.
“The preliminary finding was disappointing, as on all available evidence and information, Australian wine exports to China have not been at dumped prices.
“Essentially this decision will close the China market for much of Australian bottled wine exports, including those produced by Chinese owned companies here in Australia.”