Angove Family Winemakers Finding Opportunities in Asia

September 2017

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Angove Family Winemakers is using Australia’s free trade agreements to increase sales and grow its business in North Asia.

Angove Family Winemakers is the largest organic wine producer in Australia. The family-owned winery creates premium wines and brandy across South Australia, including single vineyard and regional McLaren Vale red and white wines, South Australian organic red and white wines, and XO and St Agnes brandy.

With a long and successful history of exporting premium organic wine around the world, the company is now focusing on North Asia markets, exporting bottled and bulk red and white wine into China and Japan.

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) and the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) have reduced tariffs on Angove Family Winemakers’ products sold in China and Japan, making it easier for the company to export globally and resulting in business growth.

Jonathan O’Neill, the Regional Export Manager at Angove Family Winemakers, says the free trade agreements (FTAs) have resulted in more sales opportunities for the company.

‘The introduction of the China and Japan free trade agreements has given us a lot more exposure in these markets and has created a great deal more enquiries,’ he says.

‘One of the greatest opportunities is being able to be competitive in these markets and having the opportunity to market our product. We work towards utilising the margin opportunities the free trade agreements create.”

Industry benefits from FTAs

The FTAs have also changed the landscape of the wine industry across Asia, with Australia now seen as a key industry player and provider of quality products.

‘Overall, we are seeing Asia deliver far greater margins and opportunities for the Australian wine industry, and this is having a huge positive impact on the sector as a whole and providing much needed funds to invest in marketing and further growing our share,’ says O’Neill.

‘As the Asian markets become more sophisticated with wine, we can see this opening these markets even more,’ he says.

Angove Family Winemakers’ use of ChAFTA and JAEPA has helped increase sales, resulting in the business being able to expand and grow.

‘We have seen our business grow and, in our own business plan, we’ve employed two additional people as a result. We see Asia as a very important part of our future, which involves money, time and a general resource focus,’ says O’Neill.

Consider market differences

For those thinking of exporting, O’Neill says in order to be successful, it’s important to consider the cultural differences of these markets and understand the importance of relationships.

‘Cultural issues take a great deal to understand,’ he says.

‘We’ve made a great deal of investment in relationship building and we’ve recognised, as a business, that these relationships need to be linked to our long-term goals. For example, I’ve spent 10 years in Japan building the relationship with key partners and it is really only bearing fruit now.’

He also recommends attending industry events to further gain insights into these markets and recognise their differences.

‘We’ve seen a lot come from attending and exhibiting at trade shows around the world – you have to be prepared to invest the time and resources to really understand how these markets work.’

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