Positioning wineries for global growth

Okanagan wineries need to come up with an identity that they all share and then promote the entire area and its products.

Jacques-Olivier Pesme

Jacques-Olivier Pesme

With the international wine industry constantly changing, wineries in British Columbia are facing tougher competition at home and abroad.

These challenging times require adaptation to new practices, understanding of new trends and markets and repositioning of the industry.

Jacques-Olivier Pesme, director of the Wine and Spirits Management Academy at KEDGE Business School in Bordeaux, France, says the B.C. wine industry will face many more challenges in the years to come.

Pesme, who is a specialist in international business and sustainable competitiveness and a world-leading academic authority on the business of wine, works directly with UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Management. With nearly 300 wineries in British Columbia, tough international competition and new changes to provincial liquor licencing laws, Pesme says the sustainability of this popular industry is being challenged.

“The wine industry is truly a global market and the local situation can’t continue as it is because the competition, whether it’s local or international, is fierce,” said Pesme.

This summer, as part of an innovative partnership between the University of British Columbia and B.C.’s wine industry, UBC received $630,000 from Western Economic Diversification Canada to help strengthen cooperation in the industry, enhance export readiness and develop its global identity.

The funding is to help establish task forces on wine labeling and presentation and on the industry’s identity; provide analysis of intelligence from international trade shows; help identify and assess options for organization, modeled from other advanced wine regions in the world; and to help develop online tools to strengthen collaboration and industry knowledge.

Deborah Buszard, UBC deputy vice-chancellor and principal of the Okanagan campus, says universities have a fundamental role to play in driving economic development.

“Working with the B.C. wine industry, UBC will serve as a convener for the sector and international experts to come together to create an expanded, globally competitive wine region,” said Buszard.

Pesme is one such expert. He promotes collaboration between local wineries and the notion of ‘identity’ as pillars of success, key to the viability of the industry.

“The industry has to ask ‘what does the idea of the British Columbia wine region mean?’ Can all these people work together to create a commercial message that describes our wine region and the signature of our wines?” he said.

“To be competitive on the international market, this region’s wineries need to have a firm identity. And the region needs to have the ability to launch itself successfully internationally.”

Wine regions have specific identities and he says the Okanagan wineries need to come up with an identity that they all share and then promote the entire area and its products.

“The industry does exist and we have the players—the big, the medium and the small. We also have professional institutions. Apart from few exceptions, I don’t think the local wineries are ready to position themselves on the international market and become international players,” said Pesme.

“The potential is here, clearly. Some additional work is required to intensify the collaboration amongst B.C. players.

“The world of wine imposes, at first, a collective approach and it offers many opportunities as the wine industry is truly a global market that needs to be explored.”

Roger Sugden, dean of the UBCO Faculty of Management, says connecting regional wineries and wine makers with experts from around the world to assist with the growth is part of the faculty’s commitment to community engagement.

“The presence of UBC and KEDGE as impartial allies to the local wine industry creates a new avenue for territory-wide growth, as values, standards and collective strategies can be coordinated and developed for the benefit of all wineries in the region,” said Sugden.

Pesme will be back in November to help facilitate the Wine Industry Collaborative, being hosted at UBCO on Nov. 2 and 3.

Before the event, UBCO and KEDGE will conduct a survey of the industry on wine labeling and the preliminary results will be discussed at the collaborative.

 

Just Posted

Kelowna flags were flown at half-mast after the discovery of a residential school burial site in Kamloops. (File photo)
Central Okanagan school board chair reflects on recent tragedies

Moyra Baxter offers condolenses to residential school victims, slain Muslim family

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Million-dollar lotto ticket sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Most Read