After 20 years of service, CEO Tony Battaglene will leave Australian Grape & Wine later this year.
Mr Battaglene is not sure what the next chapter will be but that he leaves the organisation in good shape for fresh leadership and intends to support an “orderly transition” over the next six months.
He said, “Representing the sector on behalf of Australian Grape & Wine has been an absolute privilege. I am looking forward to the next stage in my career and know the organisation will continue to deliver strong advocacy on behalf of the sector”.
Mr Battaglene has met with the new Minister for Agriculture, Murray Watt and the the new Minister for Trade, Don Farrell who has a vineyard of his own and who Mr Battaglene has known for a long time.
“We had good relationships with the previous government and I intend to build on those. We are going into a tough time with an oversupply of grapes and it is going to be tough on growers.
“I have met with both ministers and am very confident that we will keep that strong relationship going.”
AGW, the representative organisation for the Australian wine industry, will undertake an international search to recruit a new candidate.
John Hart, Chair of Australian Grape & Wine said, “Tony’s dedication to his roles at Australian Grape & Wine, and previously at the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, has been extraordinary. The reform agenda he has spearheaded and the collaborative approach he has championed has improved the Australian wine industry immeasurably”.
Mr Battaglene joined the Winemakers Federation of Australia in 1999 and became a major driver of strategy for the sector. During his tenure, he implemented a comprehensive market access strategy; oversaw biosecurity, research and development and industry policy and strategy.
In 2019, the Winemakers Federation of Australia and Australian Vignerons merged and Mr Battaglene became the inaugural Chief Executive of Australian Grape & Wine.
At its Board meeting this week, Mr Hart says that the Australian Grape & Wine is committed to bolstering the advocacy role that the organisation plays as well as broadening its engagement and policy development process to be more inclusive across the length and breadth of the industry.
Mr Hart says, “This will ensure that irrespective of what region, what size or whether you are a grower or winemaker you will have a strong voice within our organisation.”
The announcement came on the eve of the 18th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference (AWITC), incorporating the Australian Grape & Wine Outlook Conference.
The conference will focus on global economic trends affecting the Australian wine industry, sustainability and consumer trends of alcoholic beverages across the globe.