Are you planning for biosecurity risk?

Only 13% of wine businesses in South Australia have a documented plan to deal with key business risks. And none have a written plan to deal with biosecurity risk.

These alarming statistics were revealed in the inaugural South Australian Wine Industry Snapshot released in August by the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) and Bentleys.

Of the 81 businesses who participated in the study, only 13% have documented continuity plans, 46% have undocumented plans and 41% do not have plans. The respondents classified their key business risks as: fire, energy, weather, water, financial pressure, council planning issues, market uncertainty, cash flow pressure and family succession.

“It’s a concern that wine businesses are not documenting how they will deal with risks, but even more concerning is the fact that wine businesses do not perceive biosecurity to be a key risk,” said Inca Pearce, CEO of Vinehealth Australia.

“We know wine businesses have a lot on their plate, but their success is ultimately based on the health of vines. If you don’t have healthy vines in the industry, you don’t have viable wine businesses.”

The impact of pests and diseases, such as phylloxera, Pierce’s Disease, viruses and Eutypa, on vines are widely known. “But wine businesses did not rate pest and disease threats as a risk in the Wine Industry Snapshot,” Inca said. “Grape quality and supply, harvest logistics, winery practices and the movement of machinery and equipment are all impacted in varying degrees by incursions of different pests and diseases.

“What if a phylloxera incursion occurred in the Barossa or Adelaide Hills in February? A quarantine zone would immediately be put in place and there would be restrictions on the movement of grapes, machinery, equipment and other vectors into and out of this zone. How would winery operators respond to this situation? If you haven’t planned for it and documented your response in a business continuity plan, how will you ensure your business can survive this shock?

“Businesses need to consider the biosecurity risks they face, and plan how they will respond.”

Vinehealth Australia will continue to work with SAWIA on the issue of biosecurity risk planning. Please contact Vinehealth Australia if you need assistance with biosecurity issues. Phone (08) 8273 0550 or email

Download of copy of the South Australian Wine Industry Snapshot here.