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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Josie Butchart

Wines of South Africa (WOSA) has announced that it will focus solely on the promotion of wines retailing at 5-plus in an effort to push South Africa's value share above its volume share in the run-up to the first WOSA Pan-European Tasting at London's Old Billingsgate on 11/12 October 2005. The decision was made following the publication of a cost-competitiveness study, conducted by wine business specialist James Herrick, which indicated that the South African wine industry will struggle to remain competitive in the UK with wines under 5. Herrick reported that the viticultural conditions in South Africa are better suited to the production of premium wines. WOSA's CEO Su Birch said: The challenge now is to change the world's perception of our wines because the study shows we are cost-effective at high-cost, low-yield production.' WOSA has set an ambitious' target of gaining a 13.5% share by value of the UK market by the end of the year. South Africa's value share is currently 9.9%, with its volume share slightly ahead at 10.1%. WOSA hopes to sell more than 500,000 cases of wine retailing at over 5 and achieve an average retail price of 4.16, an increase of 44p on its average retail price in 2004. The industry-wide average retail price in 2004 was 3.78. A new advertising campaign, promoting the diversity of South African wines, is due to be launched by WOSA this autumn. It will focus on South Africa's unique biodiversity, emphasising that the Cape Floral Kingdom has more native plant species than the entire northern hemisphere and a rich range of viticultural terroirs. The campaign is based on the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative, a partnership between the South African wine industry and the conservation sector, which promotes changes in farming practices to prevent the loss of natural habitats and reduce negative impacts on biodiversity. The campaign will culminate in the Wine Diversity Conference at Cape 2006.