Volume 54 | September 3rd 2020
The New South Wales Wine Industry Association represents the interests of all NSW wine producers and grape growers. Our aim is for the NSW Wine Industry Association to advocate for the NSW Wine Industry and provide information and a sense of belonging to our members.
On Monday 31 August, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) formally launched a countervailing duties investigation on Australian wine exports to China. This is the second investigation MOFCOM has instigated on Australian wine in China, after launching an anti-dumping investigation on 18 August 2020.
As this is a national, not state issue, our national body - Australian Grape & Wine - continues to work closely with Wine Australia and the Australian Government to navigate these investigations.

They have created a media statement which has been distributed to trade and news media.

They have also developed a Frequently Asked Questions and Key Messages documents that can be found on the China anti-dumping investigation page on their website. Keep an eye on their website for relevant information as things proceed.

Please note that these investigations do not have an immediate impact and exporters are encouraged to continue to operate “business as usual”. However if you wish to seek further clarification for your business, both Lee McLean (lee@agw.org.au) and Tony Battaglene (tony@agw.org.au) are available for you to contact should you wish to discuss these investigations and how they may impact on your business.
The Exporter Assistance Grants are now open. This program provides reimbursement to eligible businesses to help them recover from the impacts of COVID-19, bushfires and drought on their international markets. 
Reimbursement of 50% of eligible expenses incurred since 1 January 2020, up to a maximum of $10,000 per eligible business is available for current or previously exporting businesses enabling access to new or re-entering previous markets. 
Funding is available for export marketing and development activities, such as market research, participation in international tradeshows and trade missions, inbound business support, e-commerce development and marketing materials.

All additional information is HERE and you can apply HERE.

The NSW Government has also launched Help Harvest NSW. Help Harvest NSW is a webportal designed to connect displaced employees and seasonal workers with producers and growers around the state who have seasonal work available. 
Help Harvest NSW is a joint government initiative aimed at linking an available labour force with agribusinesses across the state during the critical harvest season to address both the labour shortage, and to facilitate economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

The webportal is the main hub of this project, and the information will also be shared amongst multiple other government sites. An engagement campaign also begins today to encourage those workers displaced due to COVID-19 to consider agricultural and farm work.   
Visit Help Harvest NSW for more information and to connect with farmers and producers across the state.  
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has opened applications for grants under the National Landcare Program: Smart Farms Small Grants Round 4, with applications closing on 9 October at 11pm AEDT.
The purpose of Smart Farms Small Grants is to support land manager practice change that will deliver more sustainable, productive and profitable business while protecting Australia’s biodiversity; protecting and improving the condition of natural resources; and assisting Australia meet its international obligations.
These are open and competitive grant opportunities to support projects that do one or both of the below:
Outcome 1 – Increased adoption of best practice sustainable agriculture
Outcome 2 – Increase the capacity of land managers to adopt best practice sustainable agriculture

If you have a project in mind, check out their website for more information and how to apply
A message from Finlaysons Lawyers …
There is no point in “sugar coating” it - it has been a horrible year for the New South Wales wine sector. We started with a devastating drought, were then hit by bushfires and the smoke taint impacts of those fires and then along came a Coronavirus and finally some serious geopolitical tensions affecting one of our major export markets. The industry is renowned for its resilience, but have we ever been tested like this?
The important thing is that we learn from these experiences. Disasters will come again, probably when we least expect it. Next time, we should be better prepared.
Much has been written and spoken about crisis management in recent times, but not much of that has delved deeply into how to manage your employees at the moment disaster strikes or on the finer points of insurance law that have critical financial impacts. Nor do many of the commentators know what is really happening in Australia’s key wine export markets. Finally, what have we learnt at an industry level to make the Australian wine sector even more resilient?

Sadly, for the first time in 28 years, Finlaysons will not be visiting Australia’s leading wine regions, to impart their wine law knowledge, in person. However, the show must go on! Please join Finlaysons’ workplace, insurance and commercial lawyers, and the CEO’s of Wine Australia and Australian Grape & Wine, for a free webinar on 16 & 17 September, that tackles these issues. 

Click HERE to attend Finlaysons’ Wine (Off) Roadshow 28 with a view to “fortifying your business”.
Nominations for the 2019 Graham Gregory Award are now open, closing on 25 September 2020.
This prestigious Award is the top citation acknowledging an individual's outstanding contribution to the NSW wine industry. Winegrowers, winemakers, and others involved in the wine industry such as researchers, educators, leaders and innovators are encouraged to apply.
Do you know someone worthy of this Award? Make sure you visit our website to download the nomination form and nominate them today.