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Dispute Resolution

Disputes over Winegrape Price

Step 1

Within 7 business days of the dispute arising, the disputing party sends a Notice of Dispute to the other party and forwards a copy to the Code Secretariat. The Notice of Dispute form can be downloaded here.

Step 2

Within 7 business days of receiving the Notice of Dispute, the respondent replies in writing and informs the Code Secretariat in writing that a response has been provided.

Step 3

The Code Secretariat will endeavour to contact the parties to try to help them resolve the dispute informally.

Step 4

If, within 14 business days from the issue of the Notice of Dispute, the parties cannot negotiate a settlement to the dispute, they must jointly endeavour to appoint an Independent Expert.

Step 5

If, after 21 business days from the issue of the Notice of Dispute, the parties cannot agree on the selection of an Independent Expert, they can, within 28 business days of the issue of the Notice of Dispute, apply to the Code Committee for the appointment of an Independent Expert from the panel.

Step 6

The Code Secretariat will coordinate the appointment of an Independent Expert.

Step 7

Within 14 business days of his or her appointment, the Independent Expert will deliver a determinatation.

Disputes over Downgrades and Rejections in the Vineyard

Step 1

When a dispute arises, the disputing party sends a written Notice of Dispute to the winegrape purchaser and sends a copy to the Code Secretariat.

Step 2

Within 2 days (48 hours) from the time of issue of the Notice of Dispute, the winegrape purchaser will respond in writing and inform the Code Secretariat in writing that a response has been provided.

Step 3

The Code Secretariat will endeavour to contact the parties to try to help them resolve the dispute informally.

Step 4

If, after 3 days (72 hours) from the time of issue of the Notice of Dispute, the dispute is ongoing, the parties will jointly endeavour to appoint an Independent Expert.

Step 5

If, within 4 days (96 hours) from the time of issue of the Notice of Dispute, the parties are unable to agree on the selection of an Independent Expert, either party can apply to the Code Committee for the appointment of an Independent Expert from the panel within 120 hours of the time of issue of the Notice of Dispute.

Step 6

The Code Secretariat will coordinate the appointment of an Independent Expert.

Step 7

Within 2 days (48) hours of his or her appointment, the Independent Expert will deliver a determination.

Further Information

To download an outline of the dispute resolution process under the Code click here.

If you require further information, please see Part 3 of the Code which details the dispute resolution provisions of the Code or, if you have any questions about these procedures, please contact the Code Secretariat.

Download a Notice of Dispute form here

Independent Experts

WFA and WGGA are currently updating the database of Independent Experts which is supplied to signatories of the Australian Wine Industry Code of Conduct and their winegrape suppliers. In the case of a dispute over price or quality assessments the role of the Independent Expert is to make a determination by applying the terms of the Agreement. The Independent Expert is jointly appointed by the disputing parties. If the parties are unable to agree on an Independent Expert the Code Administration Committee will make the appointment.

An Independent Expert must be either a qualified winemaker or viticulturalist with a minimum of 5 years experience in vineyard and winegrape assessment as well as having significant commercial experience in assessing and grading winegrapes and in contract arrangements.

To apply to join the panel of Independent Experts please complete the application form and submit it along with your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to the Code Secretariat, email: secretariat@wineindustrycode.org for review by the Code Management Committee which is made up of both grape grower, winemaker, WFA and WGGA representatives.

To download the panel of Independent Experts click here.