media release

Study tracks global wine industry success

July 05, 2011

Andy Hira, 778.782.3286;
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.3210/9017;

An international study set up by Simon Fraser University political scientist Andy Hira is probing what makes global wine industries successful – and could help B.C.’s grape growers improve business in the process.

Hira will be in Penticton for a week starting July 18 for the B.C. Grape Council annual meeting and has organized a workshop with counterparts flying in from France, Spain, Chile and Australia to meet with B.C. wine makers. 

The researchers are undertaking a comparative study of international wine industries, funded by Genome Canada.

“We are studying the historical development of the industries, the role of policies and their support institutions, and the depth and types of personal networks as possible advantages,” says Hira, whose earlier study of the B.C. industry found its long-term success faces numerous challenges.

“My study of B.C. showed deficits in several areas,” adds Hira, who recently updated his report on B.C. wine-industry innovations, “and I predicted the industry would struggle with a saturation of wine producers and increasing costs, and that has started to happen.”

By comparing B.C. with more mature wine industries elsewhere in the world he is hoping to find new ideas for growing B.C.’s industry.

Hira’s earlier study, The Wine Industry in British Columbia, Closed Wine but Ready for Harvest, part of a $3.4 million Genome Canada grant, included interviews with more than 50 wine makers, suppliers, scientists and consultants to the Okanagan Valley wine industry.


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