Pick n Pay commits to purchasing 25 million bottles of local wine in 2021
25 million bottles of wine on the wall, 25 million bottles of wine....
A Christmas present was handed to the South African wine industry in the form of an announcement from one of the country’s biggest retailers. Today, Pick n Pay issued a media release to say that it has committed to buying 25 million bottles of wine in 2021 to support the local wine industry as it battles post-lockdown financial strains from prolonged restrictions on trade and export.
Cost of lockdown
According to stats provided to Food24 by Vinpro, the wine industry in South Africa has lost more than R7 billion in income since the start of the lockdown.
The industry employs over 290 000 employees in the entire value-chain and 40 000 farm and cellar employees with many of these jobs in jeopardy as we move into 2021. The industry faces an unprecedented cash shortage and stock surpluses, as over 300 million litres of unsold wine languishes in warehouses and cellars.
Gavin Ievers, head of liquor at Pick n Pay, says that the company wants to play its part in helping the local wine industry recover.
“There were months during lockdown where we were unable to trade in liquor, and then had restrictions on trading days and hours, so we really understand what the industry is going through. Vineyards were lost and many farms are in business rescue, are experiencing cash flow issues, or have excess volumes they simply can’t move fast enough.”
While the easing of alcohol sales in November was a welcome relief to winemakers, who with the new restrictions can sell wine for off-consumption at estate cellar doors to weekend visitors, the effects of lockdown will be felt for years to come. Winemakers are struggling to sell enough wine to make room for new harvests.
“We’re in a perfect position to help our wine estates and we’ll be promoting local wines right across our stores, and online,” says Ievers.
Pick n Pay’s wine buyers will be working closely with wine farms in the coming weeks to help them sell their excess volumes and will launch new ranges in-store and online. “We are inviting wine farms to work with us so we can do what we can to help, and prevent estates from having to close their doors.
Great news for wine lovers
There’s some great news for consumers, too as Gavin continues, “We are making more space available in our stores for local wines, and we’re listing more local wines on our online shop. We’ll be backing this up with strong promotions.”
Pick n Pay will also use its Smart Shopper free-to-join Wine Club140,000 wine-loving members in South Africa. The Wine Club promotes local wineries and producers and offers additional points for buying local wines, unique monthly discounts and exclusive invitations to events.
Please consume alcohol responsibly over the Festive Season, and follow all government health guidelines where appropriate. Alcohol not for U-18’s.