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New Zealand govt. announces investment funding and support for Wine companies to help expand globally

The New Zealand government plans to invest NZ$1.2 million in spending that will enable the country’s top wineries enhance their presence in the US market. In an announcement today, the government said that the funding for the wine industry’s top brands will be stretched over a two years period.


Making the announcement, the Economic Development Minister, Gerry Brownlee, said that the US is an already vital market for the country’s wine but this funding initiative, which brings together 58 wines selected keenly from New Zealand’s most renowned wineries, is an exciting initial step in the development of a super premium New Zealand wine category in the significant market that is America. Recently, New Zealand wine exports have increased to $1 billion per annum, from $100 million a decade ago, and the government has continuously shown commitment in supporting the Industry’s goal of hitting the $2 billion mark in exports by the year 2020.


The Minister further said that the American marketing and funding investment was the first package of measures meant at enhancing the industry’s capacity to build markets and retain its premium branding. On top of the US funding, the government will as well help in the development of a wine strategy for the emerging Chinese market while pledging short term, unspecified financial support for wine promotions both in New Zealand and abroad over the Rugby World Cup, expected to take place in the country in 2011.


Additionally, the government will also help the wine industry develop a market strategy for Northern Europe, especially Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg, said the Minister. The overall aim is to grow demand by the government and industry coordinating efforts across all aspects of promotion, marketing and distribution, Mr. Brownlee added.  


New Zealand Winegrowers CEO, Philip Gregan, welcomed and supported the measures saying that they would help develop the New Zealand Wine category in the markets where much of the growth opportunity is, for instance the USA, Northern Europe and China. In the past 18 months, New Zealand has experienced wine oversupply issues which have subsequently led to a majority of wines to be sold at very low price tags, raising potential fears that the country risked losing its premium positioning in vital wine markets in the world.


Gregan said that, as the wine industry works to overcome the current challenges, there are major medium to long term opportunities for growth in the value of New Zealand wine sales in the global markets 


June 4, 2010.


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