South Africa takes steps to make bottled and not bulk wine its biggest sector by 2025
The South African wine industry is looking to make bottled wine its biggest player again, as the volumes of bulk wine now being exported from the country is putting locals out of work in key manufacturing jobs linked to making bottled wine.
This is according to new figures revealed by the Wine Industry Strategic Exercise, a joint industry body set up to look at ways of securing South Africa’s wine future. It has announced that it wants to move the bulk wine versus packaged wine ratio from 61 to 39 now to 40:60 by 2025.
The UK is one of South Africa’s key export markets with bulk making up over half of the amount of wine being shipped to feed demand for lower priced, volume wines mainly from the large British supermarkets.
The issue of bulk over bottled wine has long been a controversial issue in South Africa, but as bulk has continued to increasingly dominate the market, steps are now being taken within the wine industry to redress the balance.
Economic studies increasingly show how sustainable life not only as a winegrower can be in South Africa, but also for the workers involved in the support services to the sector.
It is thought up to a third of winegrowers are operating on unsustainable levels with net farming income of around R45,000/ha, compared with the R70,000/ha that is required to be sustainable.
South Africa’s export value growth is up 10% to around R9billion, compared with volume growth of 3% to 428million litres in 2016, which is largely made up by bulk wine.