How China is devastating Australia’s wine industry
Since an email circulated listing all Australian wineries owned by Chinese interests, an outcry began, urging all Australians to cease buying wine from Chinese owned wineries in this country.
This Blog features all the reasons why we should buy from local wineries, Chinese owned or not. We must support the local industry. Full stop.
Many of these owners are of course Australian citizens – have invested in Australian infrastructure, pay Australian taxes, employ Australian people of diverse national backgrounds and buy from grape growers and packaging companies and those that provide industry services.
This edited article by Ben Westcott of CNN Business explains the dilemma facing the wine industry in this country.
South Australian winemaker Jarrad White spent almost a decade building his business in China. Then, in a matter of months it fell apart.
It had nothing to do with the quality of White’s wines at his vineyard in McLaren Vale. Instead, it was the result of months of worsening diplomatic frictions between China and Australia.
White lived in Shanghai for several years, setting up a network of distributors to sell his Jarressa Estate wine to the booming Chinese market, where demand for foreign wines among the middle class was growing fast.
By mid-2020, more than 96% of Jaressa Estate’s wines were being sold to consumers in China – up to seven million bottles a year. But in November, Beijing announced crippling tariffs on Australian wine as part of an “anti-dumping investigation” into whether those wines were being sold too cheaply in China. The government said the probe was prompted by complaints from Chinese wine producers.
White says he hasn’t sold a single bottle since.
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