The Government is trusting our industry to adhere to the key principles they have set out for our sector to be an essential service. Government’s single goal is to stop the spread of COVID-19 and Wine Marlborough takes this responsibility very seriously. Now it is up to you – our members – to keep your families, your workforce, your community and your country safe. You must ensure you do everything required to warrant the Government’s trust, and for some that will mean closing your doors.
We ask that all members do absolutely everything within their power to ensure the virus will not be spread amongst your workers or the community. If you cannot guarantee this, you must close.
Harvest is almost certain to be completed in Marlborough inside the lockdown period. The time will pass very quickly, but will determine the future for your business and the reputation of our wine region.
It goes without saying that it is vital that all of you, and all of your essential suppliers, work together to comply with every single one of the requirements. Your most important role this harvest – and the only one that really matters – is to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For this reason, we support the establishment of a Safe Harvest Hotline 09 306 5649. This will enable members of our industry to report practices that aren’t safe within the workplace, and invites our community to raise any concerns about practices they may see going on in our industry. These complaints will be investigated to help ensure your safety and retain our domestic and international reputation as one of New Zealand’s most beloved industries and the world’s greatest wine region.
If you are unsure of anything, please close your doors now. You have a responsibility to prove the whereabouts of all employees at all times during the lockdown. If any member of their household becomes mildly sick, they must stay at home.
Many of our members will be working from home now, isolated in a bubble, but connected to the workplace, and supporting our frontline teams through the next few weeks. New Zealand’s wine industry has always been known for its collegiality, and there’s never been a better time to put that to good use. These are days of physically distancing but social connection and support.
I wish you well for this harvest like no other. But please remember, ultimate success of Vintage 2020 will not be the quality of the wines you made, but that you helped stop the spread of COVID-19.
Wine Marlborough Board Chair