Managing cashflow can be a challenge to many businesses, especially wineries during growing season. With our support, Turbid & Bretty were able to develop new vineyard assets and finance their export operations.
Turbid & Bretty is a wine business, producing wine under the William Downie brand. Its Pinot Noir has a strong following of serious wine connoisseurs and is sold all over the world, especially in high-end restaurants.
The business began exporting in 2005, after they were approached by an export broker. William Downie said he and his wife Rachel had been interested in exporting for some time. “We worked in the wine business in France and had some experience in shipping wine,” he said.
The demand for their wine product has always been consistent and now, they export to countries all over the world such as Singapore, China, Canada, Norway, Germany and France.
Downie explained that using an export broker provided Turbid & Bretty with more favourable payment terms than if they were handling the exporting themselves. But managing cashflow was still an ongoing challenge, due to long working capital cycles of the wine export industry.
“We have really lumpy cashflow during the growing season,” he said. “If we're not releasing wine, our operating costs go up dramatically for about six months – and that’s usually four or five months before we have wine in markets.”
When the business was developing new vineyard assets, their cashflow was put under additional pressure and needed a short term finance solution. Downie’s accounting firm, Tilbrook Rasheed, recommended that Export Finance Australia could help.
Financing their vineyard operation
Our Client Liaison Officer, Laura Jenkins worked closely with Turbid & Bretty and Tilbrook Rasheed to provide a Small Business Export Loan. Downie said the application process was quick and simple.
“They’ve been great, really helpful and easy to deal with,” he said. “Export Finance Australia basically funded our vineyard operation by helping us manage our cashflow.”
Since then, Turbid & Bretty has successfully applied for another loan. Through our support, the business is continuing to aim high, taking its Pinot Noir to global markets and targeting an even higher-end market.
“If we hadn’t got the funding from Export Finance Australia, it would have made it very difficult,” said Downie. “They made a really big difference.