The industry bodies Vinpro, SA Liquor Brand Owners Association (SALBA) and Wines of South Africa (WoSA) have put together an Exporters Task Team to strengthen our ongoing deliberations with Government on the issue of exporting wine, brandy and spirits during South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown from 26 March 2020 until 16 April 2020.
In a letter to their members on Monday, 20 March 2020 the organisations, stated that “The issue of not being able to export under the COVID-19 lockdown is a significant risk for the South African wine and brandy industry and one that has a huge human and financial impact on our industry.”
The Exporters Task Team, comprising various lead exporters and the three industry bodies met on Monday, 20 March 2020 to discuss the current status, as well as various scenarios and outcomes and were busy putting together a case which the team hopes to present to Government by close of day on Wednesday, 1 April 2020.
The group said that one of a number of “serious barriers” which would need to be overcome includes the limited capacity within the ports that have remained open.
“Our objective is to position a convincing argument with regard to the immediate solutions – such as finished goods that are in bonded warehouses – over the remainder of the lockdown, but then also to gear up to be fully operational before the end of the current lockdown period,” reads the joint industry statement.
“We are acutely aware of the adverse effect that every day without exports has on your business. We want to thank you for all the support thus far and want to ask you for some patience to allow us to complete these important deliberations.”