1. The GWRDC 5-Year R&D Plan 2012-17

The GWRDC is developing the next R&D 5-year plan which will be signed off by the GWRDC Board in late August this year for commencement on 1 July 2012.

While these dates seem some time off, the lead times are considerable and your contribution to this plan is being sought now.

The GWRDC R&D Plan identifies the research and development priorities of the grape and wine sectors. It will guide how GWRDC invests the levies paid by grapegrowers and winemakers plus the Australian Government co-contribution.

WGGA is calling for grower contributions to this plan as a matter urgency in order to summate its contribution on behalf of Australian growers at a workshop with the GWRDC on May 11 this year.

There will be a number of avenues by which growers will be able to make a contribution to the plan. These include –

• Through WGGA,

• Through Regional stakeholder groups (organisations contracted through the GWRDC Grassroots Program),

• Through RD&E stakeholder groups (the National Wine Research Development and Extension Consultative Forum or the National Wine Extension and Innovation Network), and finally,

• If all of the above fail to provide you with the opportunity to contribute, you will as an individual, have the opportunity to provide feedback online through the GWRDC website (www.gwrdc.com.au).


It should be noted nevertheless that the three primary stakeholders (funders) of GWRDC are WGGA, WFA and the Commonwealth Government. These three organisations will therefore have primacy in terms of influence on the plan.

Your contribution through WGGA is therefore sought as the means of registering views that will have the greatest impact.

If you would like to find out more how you can make a contribution, please contact the WGGA office at

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 08 8362 9802


Key questions you might like to ask include –

“What three researchable questions would I want answered to improve my profitability and sustainability?”

“If I had $20 million to invest in research, development and extension (the average annual GWRDC spend) or, $100 million over the next five years to 2017 – how would I invest it?”

“Where do I want to be in in 5 or even 10 years’ time and what challenges stand in the way that can be addressed through research and development?”

“What is the best return to the wine sector and wider community from the R&D funds available?”

Essential resources to assist your thinking about the task include –

• A GWRDC context paper titled ‘Developing the new GWRDC Five-Year Research and Development Plan’ which will soon be available on the GWRDC website.

• The current R&D Plan ‘The Five-year Research and Development Plan 2007-12’.

• The GWRDC Annual Reports 2007-08 to 2009-10.

• The Strategic Directions Group Prospectus for wine sector research ‘Innovation driving sustainable success, 2009’

Further resources will be available in the GWRDC context paper listed above.

Your contributions may be at one of more of the following levels –

1. Researchable questions.

2. Program level specification and priorities (Market and consumer understanding, Winemaking excellence, Grapes for purpose, Sustainability of industry, environments and communities, Smart science/practical solutions).

3. System-level priorities (pure research or practical research, research or development or extension or adoption, growing or winemaking, block funding or project-based funding, weighting to elements of the value-chain (growing, winemaking, distribution, market research, consumer research), weighting to short-term benefits or long-term benefits).


2. CSIRO Viticulture R&D for the Australian Wine Industry: Future Directions, 2012-17

In line with the development of the new GWRDC 5-Year R&D Plan, the CSIRO has written a ‘Future Directions’ document outlining the CSIRO view on R&D issues it sees as priorities in the area of viticulture research over the next five years and of the CSIRO’s capability in performing the research.

The document is attached to this email.

3. Online information available to all levy payers in the wine sector through AWRI

The information available ranges from Agrochemicals to Viticulture pests and diseases and is available online through www.awri.com.au.

Further details are contained in the attached file ‘AWRI online information’

The AWRI’s viticulture staff members are happy to assist with queries. Contact Marcel Essling or Peter Dry on 08 8313 6600 or email: [email protected]

4. National harmonisation of agricultural and veterinary chemicals

The Federal government has been undertaking a review of the assessment, registration and control of use of AgVet chemicals in Australia and wishes to harmonise controls on their use.

The process is to move all states to the same regulations. For growers this means that the off-label access that is currently permitted in some states may be lost. This could significantly disadvantage some growers. The VFF has brought this to the attention of WGGA and is calling upon all growers to send an email in support of off-label chemical access.

The current season no doubt heightens the importance of this message.

The relevant Federal government agency looking at this matter is Product Safety and Integrity Committee (PSIC) at [email protected] and more information on the VFF policy position that you wish to support can be obtained from Melanie Brown, Policy Advisor – Land Management, [email protected]

5. Rabobank Farm Managers Program and Executive Development Program

Rabobank’s Farm Managers Program is designed to provide progressive farm managers with the opportunity to develop management and communication skills essential to the strategic direction of their farm business and to take their career to the next level.

The Executive Development Program is a tailored business management program designed to enhance commercial management skills of leading farmers in Australia and New Zealand.

Applications for the Farm Managers Program close at the end of April and the Executive Development Programs closes at the end of May.

Rabobank brochures for each course are available from the link below:


Nerida Sweetapple, Business Programs Manager

Email: [email protected]

Visit: www.rabobank.com.au/bmp


Or contact your local Rabobank branch.