A new Australian Wine Industry Code of Conduct was launched in December 2008. It was developed by Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) and the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) in the interests of a sustainable Australian wine industry following a recommendation by a Federal Senate enquiry in 2005. The research and development of the Code was supported by the Federal Government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
The aim of the voluntary Code is two-fold: firstly to establish a common Australian wine grape supply contract framework and secondly, to provide a dispute resolution system to manage disagreements which exist over price or quality assessments. The minimum requirements set out in the Code have been agreed to by the lead industry organisations for both grapegrowers and winemakers.
All elements of the Code apply to new contracts and major variations of agreements between grapegrowers and signatory wineries about the sale and purchase of wine grapes from the 2009 vintage and beyond.
In December 2014 the Code was revised to improve how winegrape price disputes are resolved. WGGA and WFA have agreed to extend the time when a dispute over final price can be mutually resolved, from 14 to 60 days, effective from the 2015 harvest and beyond.
WGGA recommends to growers the following 40 winemakers who are signatories to the Code:
|Campbells Wines Pty Ltd||Jan-14|
|Lion – Wine Pty Ltd||Dec-13|
|Samarkan Pastoral Co Pty Ltd t/as Coombe Farm||Dec-13|
|Voyager Estate (WA)||Dec-13|
|Kirrihill Wines Pty Ltd||Sep-13|
|Brown Brothers Milawa Vineyard Pty Ltd||Jun-13|
|Cheviot Wine Group||Jun-13|
|Cumulus Wines Pty Ltd||Jun-13|
|Difabio Estate Wines Pty Ltd||Jun-13|
|Eden Road Wine Company t/as Eden Road Wines||Jun-13|
|First Creek Wines||Jun-13|
|Fleurieu Vintners Pty Ltd t/as Boar’s Rock||Jun-13|
|Fox Gordon Pty Ltd||Jun-13|
|Gemtree Vineyards Pty Ltd||Jun-13|
|Heartland Wines Pty Ltd||Jun-13|
|Limestone Coast Wines Pty Ltd||Jun-13|
|Shaw and Smith Pty Ltd||Jun-13|
|Shingleback Wine Pty Ltd||Jun-13|
|Tahbilk Pty Ltd on behalf of The Tahbilk Group||Jun-13|
|Bleasdale Vineyards Pty Ltd||May-13|
|Colbinabbin Estate Vineyard Management Pty Ltd||May-13|
|Ramco Wine Group||Mar-13|
|Wirra Wirra Vineyards||Dec-12|
|Yalumba Wine Company||Dec-12|
|Ballast Stone Estate Wines||Nov-12|
|d’Arenberg Pty Ltd||Oct-12|
|Seppeltsfield Wines Pty Ltd||Oct-12|
|Tinlins Wines Pty Ltd||Oct-12|
|Henry Holmes Wines Pty Ltd||Dec-09|
|Balnaves Vineyard Services Pty Ltd t/as Balnaves of Coonawarra||Oct-09|
|Treasury Wine Estates||Aug-09|
|Tyrrell’s Vineyards Pty Ltd||May-09|
(Last updated 10 February 2014)
For further information please visit the the Australian Wine Industry Code of Conduct website, where the following documents can be downloaded:
- Australian Wine Industry Code of Conduct (purpose & application in full)
- Australian Wine Industry Code of Conduct brochure (Code in brief)
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
- Dispute Resolution Process – Price (flowchart) *NEW (Aug 2015)
- Dispute Resolution Process – Assessments in the Vineyard (flowchart) *NEW (Aug 2015)
- Dispute Resolution Process – Assessments at the Weighbridge (flowchart) *NEW (Aug 2015)
- Code of Conduct signatory form (for wineries wishing to become signatories to the Code)
You may also find the following documents of interest:
In 2013 WGGA undertook a review of a small sample of wine industry contracts, to determine the extent to which they complied with the Australian Wine Industry Code of Conduct and provide insights into the general standard of contracts in the industry.
Overall, the contracts were found to comply with the majority of core requirements of the Code:
- specification of price
- terms of payment
- identification of parties to the agreement
- identification of grapes to be purchased
- duration of contract
29 of the 32 provisions of the Code were met by at least 15 of the 20 contracts reviewed.
On the other hand, there was only one contract identified that fully complied with all provisions of the Code, although five stated that they were covered by the Code.
A number of concerns with the contracts were identified, as well as recommendations for future research and improvements to the Code as a result of the analysis.
Visit our Selling your winegrapes webpage for further information on contracts and agreements, including a checklist for questions to consider prior to signing an agreement and a sample contract template.