6 Aug 2012

Joyce calls on wine industry to play its part

7:46 am on 6 August 2012

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce expects the wine industry to play its part in building the profile of the New Zealand wine brand in key markets.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is investing $2.1 million to help build the brand in China, the United States and northern Europe

Mr Joyce says the money is being provided on the basis that wine companies and New Zealand Winegrowers will fully support the initiative and provide their own resources to ensure that projects succeed.

He says NZTE wants to ensure the industry's financial commitment and involvement before it co-funds any project.

Mr Joyce says it's a one-off initiative at this stage, but more projects may be funded in the future and the goal is to get projects to a position where companies can fund them alone.

Winegrowers welcome funding

The minister says the $2.1 million includes $600,000 for what's called the Complexity Initiative in the US, and New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan says that money will be well spent.

He says a PricewaterhouseCoopers strategic review done for the industry last year identified the US as one of the big opportunities for New Zealand wine.

Mr Gregan says that market requires a longer-term, more intense effort.

He says expenditure in these markets is into the millions of dollars each year and individual wineries will be spending heavily as well, so the government funding is very welcome and will be more than matched by industry players.