Exports from New Zealand up as quality focus continues

23 August, 2007

New Zealand Winegrowers has reported a 36 per cent growth in global exports to NZD$700 million during the year to June 30.

Exports to the UK increased by 36 per cent to NZD$227 million. New Zealand Winegrowers' chair, Stuart Smith, said the quality of New Zealand wine was the main reason behind the increase in sales in key export and emerging markets.

"The New Zealand wine industry has come of age. After growing steadily for two decades, it is now a major player in the New Zealand economy and the international wine market," he said.

The 2007 vintage produced a record crop of 205,000 tonnes in 2007, up 11 per cent on last year.

"With close to 150 million litres of wine available from this vintage, the opportunity to extend our position in new and existing markets is greater than ever, although supply constraints in key varieties will restrict growth in the year ahead," said Smith.

The outlook for 2008 and beyond was positive, he said.

"We are well-positioned to take advantage of emerging international marketing opportunities while responding to challenges such as labour shortages and sensitivities around environmental issues.

"We are building on our long-term commitments to sustainability, quality and our world-class marketing programme.

"This year we enhanced our sustainable winegrowing programme and recently launched our new brand positioning New Zealand Wine - Pure Discovery."

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I would like to think my outlook on things is generally optimistic. Perhaps that’s a natural consequence of working with something designed to give pleasure. But recently it has become increasingly difficult to ignore a creeping sense of negativity pervading the British wine trade.

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