The wine industry has experienced a roller coaster ride over the past three weeks, from a concession by government that producers and cellars may complete harvesting and processing the 2020 wine grape crop, which kicked off just before the lockdown began, to the initial permit last week allowing market-ready products to be exported.
Industry organisations are now also urgently deliberating with government following an announcement on 16 April 2020 that wine may not be transported. In addition to local sales being banned, this will severely affect exports and the broader industry.
Like many other sectors, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown has deeply affected the South African wine industry – from primary production to processing, related services and products, and especially wine tourism. The financial impact on the industry will undoubtedly also pass on to the approximately 300 000 people employed in the wine industry value-chain, as well as their communities.
While Vinpro is actively participating in government talks and emphasising the importance of the industry’s economic stability, it cannot ignore the scale of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the need for health and safety measures.
Vinpro is continuously evaluating the situation in light of its own scheduled meetings and training from May onwards, and is currently investigating alternative virtual options, which will be communicated in due course.
The organisation encourages people to make use of the resources on the wine industry’s COVID-19 portal and to share examples of their best practices by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. – Press release, Vinpro