The Riverland Viticulture Technical Group (RVTG), a sub-committee of the Riverland Wine Industry Development Council (RWIDC), was formed in 2002 with a view to establishing a presence at the forefront of wine industry development. Collectively, representatives (winegrape growers, researchers, liaison officers and viticulturists) of the Group aspire to shape a healthy future; hence the mission statement 'Working together to support a healthy Riverland wine industry'.
The RVTG Strategic Planning Forum was organised in response to the enormous change in the operating environment of the Riverland wine industry; acknowledging a lot had occurred since 2002. In a bid to stay relevant there was a need to take stock, look at the 'big picture' and set direction.
The Forum could not afford to be insular, a professional facilitator, Dr. Georges Baume (Adelaide University), was engaged and detailed invitations were sent to a wide cross section of industry participants both from within and outside of the Riverland. The Forum ran over the course of two days on the 30th and 31st of July 2008 with 40 industry representatives in attendance. Importantly, the focus was on the need for a regional response; acknowledging there were issues facing the broader industry for which only the impacts could be managed. An action plan needed to consider the capability of the Group, the strength of the network and the resource base available. This did not deter the Strategic Planning Forum invitees from discussing the drivers of change impacting the industry. Indeed, the Forum ensured that matters that would not normally be considered part of the technical realm were captured; recognising they would need to be addressed as part of the wider industry issues response network.