Macquariedale Organic Wines SWOT Analysis
The strength of Macquariedale Organic Wines lies with the technology. Technology has helped the company to leverage its competitiveness (Böhm, 2009). This strategy enables customers to make online purchases with speed.
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Quality is also a key strength of Macquariedale Organic Wines. The company has a tradition of producing wine that is organically processed; hence, quality wine prepared using organic product is embraced by Australian consumers.
Macquariedale Organic Wines faced criticism when it resorted to producing biodynamic wine in 2001. Critics argued that biodynamic business was not viable in Hunter Valley. Thus, consumer’s perception on the business showed a sign of weakness to the company.
More opportunities exist for Macquariedale Organic Wines; this is because consumers understand the benefits associated with consuming organic wine. Further, consumers argue that organic wine is healthy compared to conventional wine. Thus, Macquariedale Organic Wine should use this opportunity to extend to more market segments (Böhm, 2009).
Most Australia’s Wine industries view that conventional farming methods use synthetic methods, such as use of pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers to support plants growth, discourage pest and prevent disease (Loureiro, 2003). This, in their view, there may be harmful effects on wine quality. However, most wineries use eco-friendly farming methods that are less harmful to the environment.
Macquariedale Organic Wines has elaborate marketing strategies. These include offering discounts, having exclusive clubs and conducting winemakers’ dinners. These initiatives provide information which Macquariedale Organic Wines can use to strengthen its market base.
Australian organic and biodynamic wine industries
Winemaking and viticulture in Australian wine industries encompass key aspects of supply chain (Vermeir & Verbeke, 2006). These processes include production, packaging and transportation. According to Turinek et al (2009), Australian winemakers have based their winemaking technologies on organic farming.
This has resulted in concepts such as organic and biodynamic wines. Vermeir & Verbeke (2006) note that organic farming embraced by most wine industries, highlights the health of the soil and the farm ecosystem; It also provides a friendly ecosystem, reduces chemical residues, provides trace elements, minerals and anti-oxidants, and improves wine quality, which is brighter and of the finest quality.
Wine industries assert that biodynamic wine has an extra aspect of flavor (Saunders et al., 2004). This is because it involves various processes during production. Other eco-friendly practices encouraged in wineries include waste recycling and reduction, rainwater collection, embracing clean technology and using renewable sources of energy.
Farming: Organics and Biodynamic
The cardinal idea of organic viticulture by Australian wine industries is farming without using synthetic chemicals. Winemakers favor natural and innovative strategies to preserve soil nutrients, promote vine health and grape quality (Turinek et al., 2009).
Thus, they use several natural methods to control pests, weeds and diseases. Disrupting pests breeding cycles, for instance, under vine weeding is encouraged. This practice helps in managing garden weevil population (Saunders et al., 2004). Certification
Australian Wine producers and industries certify their wine products. This serves as a differentiation strategy. Certification is carried out by accredited bodies. D’Souza (2006) cites that Australia has many certifying bodies.
Some of these organisations are Australian Certified Organic, the Biological Farmers of Australia, and the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture.
Besides these bodies, the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service has created the “National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce” (D’Souza, 2006). This standard is used as a benchmark by importing countries, and it equates to local standard in their home countries
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Non – Interventionist Winemaking
Australian wine industries use minimal intervention methods in the winery. This help in preserving the purity of fruits. The Australian body in charge of standardisation of organic farming restricts many precincts on winemaking. This includes Polyvinylpolypyrrolidone, a fining element. However, they allow a limit of 125 ppm of Sulfur.
Packaging and Transportation
Most industries embrace packaging that focuses on recyclability and recycled materials for packaging is encouraged. Also, they embrace industries that use compact and light-weight packaging. They view that these strategies reduce land fill space and carbon emission.
Wine industries have also streamlined their transport strategies with the aim of reducing costs whereas increasing timely delivery. To achieve this aim, processing, bottling and storing are done locally. Similarly, they ship wine in bulky for bottling in the target market, using biofuels. This strategy offsets carbon emission powered by combustion processes, which is common with trains.
Importance of Winemakers’ Dinner for Macquariedale Organic Wines
Niche market products in Australia are overshadowed by commercial driven and mass produced products. Hence, strategies to popularise their appeal for consumers are critical. Most wineries have taken different strategies to popularise their organic and biodynamic wines.
For Macquariedale Organic Wines, strategies such as winemakers’ dinner as proved useful. Winemakers’ dinner is an exceptional opportunity where different wine growers and consumers converge; hence, an opportunity in sharing experiences in the wine industry. The fact that they are all wine producers, each one has a different experience on organic and biodynamic farming (Turinek et al., 2009).
Winemakers provide information on the benefits of organic and biodynamic benefits. Through such encounters, winemakers deliberate on the practices behind organic and biodynamic farming and seek the way forward. Besides, winemakers know the challenges of using synthetic fertilizers on the environmental.
Though they view that synthetic fertilizers hasten vines growth, they are the cause of vine disease. This information will be critical forMacquariedale Organic Wines. It will enable it to expand the growth of organic and biodynamic wines in the country.
Organic and biodynamic farmers are motivated by ethics in growing grapes. Through this approach, they ensure the strategies embraced in producing the wine have minimal harmful effects on the consumer and the environment.
Conversely, improving soil fertility and addressing pest control without using pesticide is a priority. This is because developing and applying eco-friendly methods create healthy vines and eventually healthier wines for the consumer to enjoy. It also means caring for the environment ethically.
Macquariedale Organic Wines Research Proposal
Australian wine market has witnessed an increase in wine products; hence, this increase has made more wine producers fail to connect with the consumers. As a result, simply stocking high quality wine on retail shelves has not guaranteed an automatic sale.
To ensure that Macquariedale Organic Wines understand the market trends in the city, an elaborate research plan will be essential (Nowak & Washburn, 2002). Macquariedale Organic Wines will need to embrace key approaches to enter the market. First, Macquariedale Organic Wines will be required to establish a research department within the company.
However, if it has skilled and competent marketers with research skills, they can take up the responsibility. The research department will need to define the research problem and formulate fitting objectives for the research. Research objectives will be critical to Macquariedale Organic Wines.
This is because, the objectives will enable the company collect data/information relating to wine consumption patterns, lifestyles and know the characteristics of consumers. Also, the objectives will assist the company understand the demographic patterns and consumers perception to new product among others.
After gathering information, the research team will compile using a situational analysis technique and write a report. Consequently, the company will need to outline the research plan on how to collect information (Punch, 2006). The research plan will give a clear guideline in executing the entire research process.
Thus, the research plan will require precise steps for execution. These steps will involve gathering specific information relevant for the company expansion, collection of both primary and secondary information and planning for research methods to be used. The research team will use; questionnaires, interviews and surveys as research instruments to collect data (Punch, 2006).
After collecting data, the research team will critically do an evaluation and interpret the findings. This will aid in implementing the research plan. Evaluation of findings will also include information analysis, which will assist marketers to have a good strategy for the product penetration in the city.
Research plan will assist Macquariedale Organic Wines have salient information for decision making. However, when collecting data using various instruments such as interviews, questionnaires and surveys, care should be exercised. This is because; failure to adhere to good practices will result to bias and create ethical issues.
Interviews are one area that can create ethical issues if not properly conducted. For instance, when it is not carried out properly, a respondent may give wrong or false information creating bias (Punch, 2006). Also, lack of effective strategies in asking “loaded” questions such as demographics questions can result in bias, thus, this can cause ethical issues.
Similarly, using questionnaires to collect data can also create ethical issues. Some respondents may give misleading information, hence, contributing to bias in the findings (Punch, 2006). Also, if questionnaires are mailed to respondents, some may fail to mail back, hence, this can contribute to bias in the findings.
In ensuring an ethical issue does not arise, I will suggest a number of strategies. One strategy will be ensuring interview questions are well framed. This will simplify understanding and correct responses from respondents.
Also, I would suggest that “loaded” questions such as demographics questions to be asked at the end of the interview; this will ensure respondents answer them confidently.
On questionnaires’ I will suggest that more questionnaires be send to several respondents. Additionally, I would suggest sufficient time be granted on filling and mailing, and devise strategies for a follow up via a phone call.
Macquariedale Organic Wines should capitalise on the reputation associated with organic and biodynamic wines in the country. Most consumers like biodynamic wines because it is processed using best sustainable processes. Unlike conventional wines, biodynamic wines guarantee quality health. This will be a tremendous advantage for Macquariedale Organic Wines to reach more markets (Peattie, 2000).
Also, Macquariedale Organic Wines should strengthen its marketing strategies. Though it has given it a priority through winemaker’s promotion, they need to devise more strategies to reach a wider market segments. Strategies of identifying potential markets based on demographic information will be critical.
Ethics is highly regarded in every aspect of trade. Macquariedale Organic Wines should embrace ethics in its business practices. Strengthening sustainability through using eco-friendly farming practices and providing wine labels with information are vital. This will make customers build trust in Macquariedale wine.
Consumers are wary on the price of the wines. They view that low priced wine is connected to low quality. Though this is driven by competition, marketers should fix standard price basing on the quality of the product (Loureiro, 2003). Also, wine manufactures should be innovative in convenient packaging. This may entail involving the population to use screw caps and soft cap packaging
The case draws that organic and biodynamic wines are produced by embracing the practices organic and biodynamic farming. In Australia, grape growers embracing biodynamic practices have seen significant improvements on health of their vineyards.
Developments in crop nutrition, soil fertility, and disease and pest management have been realised. Also, biodynamic winemakers also note a stronger and vibrant taste which has created more appeal to consumers than conventional wines.
Consumer’s demands over conventional production practices in Australia have contributed to a higher demand for products which has been prepared by processes embracing sustainability practices. Hence, consumers value safety and quality of the wine they consume.
Hence, an industry that encourages sustainability in wine production out-performs those that are not. Thus, Macquariedale Organic Wines will need to enhance its product differentiation to enhance a competitive advantage. This will be anchored on practices that support sustainability as consumers have a preference for sustainable wine. They view these products as unique from other conventional produced wine.
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