MOVES have been made to cement Australia’s number one wine export destination with an agreement struck to ensure continued access to the United Kingdom post-Brexit.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the deal was done to maintain Australia's strong trading relationship the UK.
“The UK bought more Aussie wine than any other country last year—that's a customer we want to look after,” Mr Littleproud said.
“This agreement will protects Australia's geographical indicators so UK consumers know our wine is fair dinkum.
“It also outlines wine labelling rules and recognises Australia's authorised wine-making practices including a simple approval process for new wine-making practices.”
Mr Littleproud said the agreement secured the benefits of the existing deal between Australia and the European Union.
In the 12 months to September 2018, the UK was Australia’s top wine export market by volume, with 239 million litres – about one-third of our wine exports – and the third largest by value, worth $380m.
Australia exported 842mL globally, worth $2.71 billion – an increase of 11 per cent.
The Winemakers Federation of Australia has welcomed the deal with chief executive officer Tony Battaglene saying it provided certainty and a smoother transition for exporters.
“With the outcome of Brexit shrouded in so much uncertainty, it is great to see the government on the front foot, maintaining access to this vital market for Australian winemakers,” he said.
“Although, there will be still be challenges for exporters in the immediate post-Brexit environment, this deal will significantly help the Australian wine sector during this turbulent time and provides advantages to Australian wine exporters that most of our competitors will not enjoy.”