Cape Town - South African wine exports are projected to grow by 13 percent within the next decade, increasing the value of wine tourism from R6-billion to R15bn.
Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde said the prediction, which was based on the 2016 Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) baseline - released last week - provided a snapshot of the country’s wine industry.
“Wine exports are up from 122 million litres in 2000 to 313 million litres last year. We are exporting to markets across the world. The bulk of our exports are destined for the European Union and the United Kingdom. Exports to key markets in the rest of Africa, the US and China are growing.”
Winde said the latest trend was an “excellent indicator” of the department’s goal, through the Project Khulisa, to boost exports to strategic markets.
Winde said according to the report, the South African wine industry includes 100 000 hectares, and is comprised of 3 300 producers. It also supports employment for close to 300 000 residents, directly and indirectly.
“The South African wine industry has formulated the Wine Industry Strategic Exercise which sets clear goals for the sector.
“This includes increasing jobs to 375 000 by 2025 and growing the value of wine tourism from R6bn to R15bn,” he said.
Now in its 12th year, the BFAP baseline, a research report collaboration carried out by experts from University of Pretoria, Stellenbosch University and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, offers insight into key trends in areas including production, consumption, trade, food prices and jobs in the agriculture sector.
The research shows medium and long-term projections for various industries in the South African agriculture sector.
The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry congratulated the wine farmers, the industry and the enabling economic planners of the province on a remarkable achievement.
President of the Cape Chamber Janine Myburg said: “Exports have increased by 223 percent over the last 15 years and that is something to be proud of, but even more exciting is the continuing growth.
“With more than 3 300 producers throughout the Winelands, the benefits of this success spread to many communities and that means many thousands more jobs in the towns and on the farms. This is exactly what the Western Cape needs.”
In response to the report, the chief executive at Wine of South Africa, Siobhan Thompson, said the future growth of wine exports relied on certain levers, the most important being lowering international trade barriers and increasing investment in the local wine industry.
“This needs to be boosted by achieving better margins for our wine sales and driving value growth over volume across the board.
“We have to lessen reliance on our traditional markets in Europe and the UK, which currently account for approximately 70 percent of our exports, and look to building high potential markets in Africa, Asia and the US.”
Wesgro’s chief executive, Tim Harris, welcomed Winde’s wine export projections.
Wine and food tourism is already a strategic element of our five-year implementation plan and we are partnering with stakeholders across the province to identify and promote unique wine and cuisine experiences to both the domestic and international markets.
“During the last financial year we assisted a number of wineries such as Stellenview, Bonaire, and Wellington Wines to secure international contracts and sales orders.
“We are excited by the opportunities this sector still presents and look forward to playing a significant role in helping stakeholders to capitalise on them.”