Pick n Pay has announced its commitment to purchasing 25 million bottles of wine in 2021 to support the local wine industry. Photo: File
Pick n Pay has announced its commitment to purchasing 25 million bottles of wine in 2021 to support the local wine industry. Photo: File

Pick n Pay helps wine industry recover from lockdown damage

By Thembelihle Mkhonza Time of article published Dec 18, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - South African retailer Pick n Pay has announced its commitment to purchasing 25 million bottles of wine in 2021 to support the local wine industry.

This comes after industry body Vinpro reported that the local wine industry had lost around R400 million (about US$27 million) a week in revenue when alcohol sales were banned.

The industry currently has an estimated 250 to 300 million litres of uncontracted wine, according to Vinpro and South African Wine Industry Information & Systems. This is almost a year’s worth of wine sales.

Head of liquor at Pick n Pay Gavin Levers said: “There were months during lockdown where we were unable to trade in liquor, and then had restrictions on trading days and hours, so we really understand what the industry is going through. Vineyards were lost and many farms are in business rescue, are experiencing cash-flow issues or have excess volumes they simply can’t move fast enough”.

According to the retailer, the effects of the lockdown will be felt for years to come regardless of the easing of alcohol sales in November as winemakers struggle to sell enough wine to make room for new harvests.

“We’re in a perfect position to help our wine estates and we’ll be promoting local wines right across our stores and online,” said Levers.

Levers said Pick n Pay’s wine buyers will be working with wine farms in the coming weeks to help them sell their excess volumes and will launch new ranges in store and online.

“We are inviting wine farms to work with us so we can do what we can to help, and prevent estates from having to close their doors.

“We are making more space available in our stores for local wines and we’re listing more local wines on our online shop. We’ll be backing this up with strong promotions,” said Levers.

African News Agency

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