Wine ex­port copy­cat

Dale­fold’s li­cence sus­pended

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS - ELI GREENBLAT

THE fed­eral agency that over­sees the na­tion’s thriv­ing $20 bil­lion wine in­dus­try has taken the un­usual step of sus­pend­ing a com­pany’s ex­port li­cence.

It comes af­ter the com­pany, Dale­fold Wines, was caught sell­ing wine across China that looked sim­i­lar to Aus­tralia’s fa­mous pre­mium wine brand, Pen­folds.

While the sus­pen­sion re­mains in place, Dale­fold may not ex­port wine from Aus­tralia.

The agency, Wine Aus­tralia, is seek­ing fur­ther in­for­ma­tion from Dale­fold be­fore de­cid­ing the length of the sus­pen­sion and con­sid­er­ing whether the li­cence should be can­celled.

The sus­pen­sion is an un­usual step, with Wine Aus­tralia last can­celling a li­cence in the 2015-16 fi­nan­cial year.

This is the first time a li­cence has been sus­pended since new broad­ened reg­u­la­tory pow­ers were in­tro­duced in April.

There is scant in­for­ma­tion as to the own­er­ship and com­pany struc­ture of Dale­fold, other than that it is a wine man­u­fac­turer that buys grapes from other pro­duc­ers and cre­ates its own la­bels that it then sells over­seas.

Doc­u­ments lodged with the Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties and In­vest­ments Com­mis­sion show the sole di­rec­tor is Liu Shuyun of Broad­view, South Aus­tralia.

A web­site, dale­fold.com, yes­ter­day had images of wine sold un­der the Dale­fold brand­ing, with one in par­tic­u­lar al­most an ex­act copy of the clas­sic Pen­folds la­bel.

Wine Aus­tralia said Dale­fold’s ac­tiv­i­ties in China were caus­ing con­fu­sion in the minds of Chi­nese con­sumers and caus­ing harm to the rep­u­ta­tion of all Aus­tralian wine­mak­ers.

It had “en­gaged in ac­tiv­ity that aims to lever­age from the rep­u­ta­tion of an­other wine brand in China through caus­ing con­sumer con­fu­sion to the ex­tent that is likely to ad­versely af­fect the ex­port trade in all grape prod­ucts from Aus­tralia by di­min­ish­ing con­sumer con­fi­dence,” it said.

An­gus McPher­son, Trea­sury Wine Es­tates man­ag­ing di­rec­tor for Aus­tralia and New Zealand, wel­comed the move to sus­pend Dale­fold’s ex­port li­cence.

“This is a win for the Aus­tralian wine in­dus­try,” Mr McPher­son said.

Pic­ture: SI­MON CROSS

WEL­COME: Trea­sury Wine Es­tates Aus­tralia and NZ boss An­gus McPher­son ap­plauded the li­cence sus­pen­sion.

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