The Fonterra board needs real farmers with their own skin in the game, says would-be director John Nicholls.
In 2011, we were still facing the fall-out from the global financial crisis. The perfect storm we referred to it back then, when relating it to the New Zealand wine industry. A couple of years of large yields, a situation where supply was in excess of demand, and our consumers throughout the world were facing financial stress of their own.
Exports in 2011 stood at $1.09 billion. There were 33,600 producing hectares, with Marlborough making up just over 19,000 of those. Vintage that year provided 328,000 tonnes. But we weathered that storm and if you look at us now, the New Zealand wine industry is in good shape.
Exports stand at $1.71 billion. Producing vineyard in New Zealand is over 37,000 ha (on NZW figures from 2017) with Marlborough having close to 27,000 of those, (according to the latest from Wine Marlborough). Vintage this year saw 419,000 tonnes. Supply this year will probably fall below demand, which is not always a bad thing. But it is timely to remember that we are always just one vintage away from something impacting. Anyone who lived through the 2008 – 2012 years will know what I mean.
Which is why this year’s Bragato Conference is so important. Think Smart, Look Ahead is this year’s theme. From how to future proof your vineyard through to the potential implications of climate change, there is something there for everyone. The conference being held in Wellington is about sharing knowledge, preparing for the future and celebrating the industry as a whole. I look forward to seeing you there.
By the way, I hope you like the new look of NZ Winegrower as much as we do.