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Power to the people

Power – it’s the topic that consumes us all right now, and not just in South Australia, Victoria or New South Wales, but worldwide. And it’s about political power as much as it’s about anything, because those who hold the power in our world control the energy outcomes that affect us all. Taking the long-term view to any solution is fraught with short-term problems. Do we eschew coal in favour of nuclear in favour of renewables? Or do we just maintain the status quo? As individuals, we can’t solve this problem but it leaves us all undoubtedly struggling because of it.

While the powerful quarrel about what to do, industry is left without any possibility of choosing a direction that will reliably meet their needs over at least the next decade. The worst consequence is that without a doubt it is going to result in rising power costs which will affect manufacturers badly. The higher the cost of electricity, the bigger the price that will attach to production, and those costs will be passed on to the customer, themselves already dealing with rising power costs.

For the wine industry, beyond making great wine, they pretty much focus on purchasing suitable glass for their output. Already winemakers have limited choice with domestic glass producers continually narrowing their production range and sizes. For those winemakers who don’t need huge unit numbers for their output, they either have to accept the situation and use perfectly adequate but not particularly exciting glass or look outside the box: i.e. to Asia.

Overriding most things, the cost of production there is substantially lower than anything Australia can offer. However, the consequences that can ensue when dealing with Asian glass are many and well known. The matter of standards, glass consistency and tolerances frequently outweigh any economic gain, and it’s a fact that these glass producers are also beginning to limit their range and numbers so our local winemakers aren’t really gaining anything but potential problems.

Given the possibility that winemakers and other bottle users will go to Asia, our local glass industry meets this very simply: they invest in or build overseas furnaces and still make money out of those smaller winemaking concerns without offering them any further advantage.

A viable alternative is needed that covers all the needs of our winemakers, to give them the bottles that best reflect the high quality of their wines. European glass produces are known for their product. They produce bottles of a high standard and offer an amazing range of colour, shape and size, and meet all the necessary standards and tolerances that go to protecting the wine they hold. The fact that they produce in large numbers to meet the European market means that Australia can feed into this without being discriminated against for only needing small runs. It also means that they offer a surprisingly attractive price point.

If you haven’t explored the premium European glass market yet, why not give us a call?Pipwin has access to all the information you will need to consider the alternative and make a decision that can only benefit your market goals - and help to contain those pesky power problems.

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