Agri Western Cape doubts whether government realises what enormous damage the decision of Sunday evening 12 July to suspend alcohol sales with immediate effect will cause to the entire wine value chain.
Levels 4 and 5 of the national lockdown already had a major adverse effect on the wine industry when the ban on domestic sales resulted in a revenue loss of more than R3 billion, says Jannie Strydom, CEO of Agri Western Cape.
Thousands of jobs at risk
He says Agri Western Cape is very worried about jobs that have already been lost in the wine value chain due to COVID-19 regulations. A further estimated 18 000 workers can also be affected.
The decision to suspend alcohol sales again will put further pressure on producers and cellars that have already suffered enormous damages due to COVID-19 regulations and that are in great need of bridging finance.
“The agriculture sector wasn’t consulted in the decision, and the impact doesn’t stop at the farm gate or at the retailer. There are practical implications as well, such as what will become of the 2021 crop if the 2020 crop is still in the cellars. The entire spirits industry whose origins lie in agriculture, is adversely affected,” says Strydom. – Press release, Agri Western Cape