01/11/2021

South Australia’s booming spirits sector is projected to directly employ 2,300 people and inject up to $140 million into the state economy by 2031, according to the South Australian Spirit Industry Blueprint launched in McLaren Vale on 29 October.

The game-changing industry blueprint, funded by the state government, is expected to pave the way for South Australia to build on its reputation for being home to the best spirits in Australia.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said in conjunction with the blueprint launch, the state government is also pleased to announce a further $30,000 for the South Australian spirit sector to hold industry workshops.

“Creating this spirits industry blueprint is a national first, which has allowed us to firstly understand the industry’s economic contribution to the state, and then outline collaborative targets to harness the potential of the sector,” Minister Basham said.

“We want to establish South Australia as ‘The Spirit State’, and this blueprint spells out priorities to ensure the long-term growth and success of this industry.

“This includes positioning South Australia as Australia’s home of professional spirits education and innovation, developing a state spirit export plan, and building a cellar door and bar spirits economy.

“There are currently more than 50 distilleries across South Australia with more than 60 per cent based regionally, and this blueprint maps out a clear vision to grow the industry creating thousands of new jobs within a decade.

“With a focus on collaboration, the spirit sector now has a cohesive plan to work together to overcome barriers, build high-class customer experiences and build on the world-renowned reputation of South Australia’s spirit industry.”

SA Spirit Producers Association president George Georgiadis said the blueprint titled ‘South Australia’s Spirits Boom’, sets the foundation for a decade of sustainable growth and international success.

“With 70 per cent export growth annually over the past 4 years, the local spirits sector is rapidly emerging as a world leader in the production of magnificent premium spirits and fabulous spirits-based tourism and venue experiences,” Mr Georgiadis said.

“This blueprint highlights 6 key priorities for sustained success, including nurturing collaboration and innovation, identifying quality education and training, growing export capability and developing cellar door experiences.

“South Australia’s 50 distilleries employ people in roles as diverse as production, sales and marketing, tourism and administration – and crucially, over 60 per cent of those operations are located in regional areas, bringing in tourists and helping to stimulate local economies.

“Direct employment in the spirits sector is forecast to grow from 620 people in 2022 to 2,300 people by 2031, while contribution to Gross State Product is tipped to rise from $30 million in 2022 to between $94m and $140m by 2031.

“Many of the new-breed distillers have come from a diverse range of backgrounds, such as full-time graphic designers, information technology consultants and accountants.

“They all share an entrepreneurial spirit, commercial smarts and drive to succeed, and this has led to South Australia punching well above its weight in international awards.

“Our aim is to foster that success in a collaborative way to ensure we continue to grow jobs, economic returns and critical acclaim.”

The SA Spirit Producers Association was formed in 2018, with the state government-funded SA distillery trail developed in 2020 to highlight the diverse, award-winning distilleries across the state.

Read the industry blueprint.

Sourced from the Premier of South Australia’s website: Spirit industry roadmap drives SA to lead the nation