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Supporting local: SPAR Austria strengthens cooperation with wine makers

October 26, 2020 IN THE CATEGORY: Responsible retailing, Sourcing

Many Austrian wine makers have this year struggled with significantly lower wine sales to restaurants and bars due to the coronavirus pandemic. As the largest partner of domestic agriculture, SPAR Austria is compensating for part of these losses by increasing its focus on regional wine growers, thereby boosting their sales in food retailing. Over 200 Austrian wine growers deliver their wines to SPAR. On top of that, SPAR’s own winery – Weingut Schloss Fels – pays over 40 wine growers a fair base price for locally produced grapes. In recent years, this base price has been up to 100% above the market price.

The current pandemic poses a severe threat to the livelihood of wine makers primarily selling their wines through the catering industry. For the more than 200 local wine growers working with SPAR Austria, increased instore sales are to a large extent helping cushion the financial blow. SPAR supports these producers with campaigns as well as increased instore presence and promotion in SPAR and INTERSPAR leaflets.

SPAR has sought to strengthen its cooperation with Austrian wine makers through a regional focus. More than 75% of the wines sold via SPAR Austria channels are produced domestically, with the balance coming from major wine nations such as France and Italy.

Over 100 Austrian wine makers sell their wines nationwide through SPAR, while another 100 wine growers only supply selected regions or individual markets, depending on the amounts available. INTERSPAR Hypermarkets sell 650 of these wines at farm-gate prices.

“The regional SPAR structure enables us to respond to the needs and output of wine growers. Under the INTERSPAR initiative ‘The best from home!’, wine makers from the immediate vicinity of the store deliver their wines directly to the respective location. In this way, even smaller wine growers, whose quantities may not be sufficient to supply an entire region, can gain a foothold in the food retail sector”, said SPAR Austria’s wine expert and buyer Anne Thysell.

Regional farmers also receive support from SPAR’s own winery – Weingut Schloss Fels – in Lower Austria. Opened in 1996, the SPAR winery works with over 40 wine growers, who deliver their grapes for further processing.

“Provided that the quality specifications are met, we pay our wine makers a long-term fixed minimum price, which in recent years has been up to twice the market price for wine grapes”, said Klaus Klein, Managing Director of the SPAR Austria winery.

INTERSPAR offers the largest range of wines within the SPAR Austria Group, stocking up to 2,500 wines, sparkling wines, and spirits in its hypermarkets and online at www.weinwelt.at. During the first half of this year, INTERSPAR recorded a significant increase in online orders, with sales during the lockdown reaching levels similar to the annual Christmas period.

Source: SPAR Austria

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About SPAR Austria

The origins of SPAR in Austria date back to 1954, but the current SPAR AG was created in 1970 when the original founding families joined with other regional wholesalers to form SPAR Austria AG – a 100% privately owned Austrian company.

With licences granted by SPAR International, ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG) has also developed SPAR in Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, and Northern Italy.