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BC Wine Institute Releases Survey Results Highlighting The Impacts of Covid-19 on The BC Wine Industry

 

British Columbia - September 29, 2020 (Investorideas.com Newswire) A recent industry-wide survey conducted by the BC Wine Institute (BCWI) in collaboration with the BC Grapegrowers' Association and Leger Marketing, found 83 per cent of BC wineries and grapegrowers have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

In August, the BCWI engaged market research and analytics company, Leger Marketing to conduct an industry-wide survey to help understand and assess the impact of COVID-19 on the BC wine industry, the effectiveness of provincial and federal relief programs and the perceived challenges for the future. According to key findings from the survey results, one in 10 BC wineries and grapegrowers noted that they are at risk of closing due to COVID-19, with 58 per cent seeing a loss in revenue and 55 per cent having reduced access to customers.

"It's imperative that we understand the full effects of the pandemic on our industry to ensure we're successful in the recovery phase. By engaging Leger Marketing to conduct a comprehensive industry-wide survey, we are better able to see where our efforts should be focused," said Miles Prodan, President & CEO, BC Wine Institute. "Although the long-term financial impacts may not be fully realized, we believe this is a first step in identifying key areas where critical, lasting solutions and government policy are required for the successful recovery of the industry".

Despite the new and innovative ways wineries have adapted to reach their customers and navigate the pandemic as best as possible, survey results indicate many are concerned for the future.

"For growers, access to labour is always an issue, and with border closures and quarantine regulations this has been more challenging than ever," says John Bayley, Viticulturalist, Blasted Church Vineyards and Board President, BC Grapegrowers' Association. "We have incurred greater expenses this year in maintaining the labour support we rely on from our colleagues from Mexico."

Despite July sales reports showing overall growth in the wine category at 5.01% up from 4.73% in June 2020, BC VQA market share continues to trend lower than the All Imports market share growth sitting at 18.81% compared to 19.13% last year.

"As winery inventories begin to grow with, by all early indications, a great 2020 vintage starting to come in, this trend is worrisome for our industry," said Prodan. "It highlights the need for the continued support of the BC wine industry not just from consumers but in sound policies from all levels of government."

Although survey results show 41% of BC wineries seeing an increase in winery direct sales, all distribution channels have seen a decrease in sales particularly Hospitality at 69% followed by Agency (43%) and Liquor Retail Stores (41%).

Financially, 66% of wineries believe it will take them one to four years to recover with 35% expecting their revenue to decline between 21% and 50% over the next six months.

"I think it will take some time for the industry to see the full effects of COVID-19. Obviously for smaller wineries who depend on restaurant and wine shop sales - and many of them do - they're going to feel the effects more immediately, but for others, it may take until the end of the season to fully understand the effects industry-wide," says Kathy Malone, Winemaker, Hillside Winery.

With the threat of a second wave, and provincial health orders already tightening up on restaurants and bars, it's imperative that the support of BC's local wine industry and related businesses continues as we work together to weather the storm.

See survey results infographic at WineBC.com

About British Columbia Wine Institute (BCWI):

Since 1990, the BCWI has played a pivotal role in taking BC's wine industry from a vision to an internationally recognized niche region producing premium wines and providing exceptional wine tourism experiences.

The BCWI markets the wine and regions of BC; delivers quality trade, media and consumer tastings; and acts as the voice of BC's wine industry by advocating to government on behalf of industry that contributes $2.8 billion in provincial economic growth annually.

The BCWI represents all wineries in British Columbia to grow the premium market share for the Wines of British Columbia, while driving awareness of our world-class wines and tourism product - currently drawing 1,000,000 visitors with $600 million in tourism and tourism employment related economic impact every year.

For more information about BC Wine Institute's programs and services, please visit WineBC.com.

Follow us on social media at the Wines of British Columbia Facebook page and follow @WineBCdotcom on Twitter and Instagram.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Carie Jones
Communications Manager
British Columbia Wine Institute
Phone: 250-869-2476
CJones@WineBC.com

WineBC.com

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