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Risk management

Businesses of every size must comply with a range of statutory and legislative requirements and operating a cellar door has its own set of obligations.    In addition to compliance related risks, your business may face exposure to a number of other risks such as increases in interest rates, competitor activity which you should consider and where possible manage.

Risk management is a systematic process of making a realistic evaluation of the true level of risks to your business.  In some cases you may need professional advice to help you assess your business risks or to determine how specific regulations apply to your business.

Insurance is also an important issue. Requirements vary according to business type, but be aware that some forms of insurance are compulsory, such as workers compensation and third party car insurance. Depending on the type of insurance you choose, you may be able to claim tax credits for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) component of your insurance premium.

There is a range of useful information about risk management and insurance on the Australian Government’s business website.  

Export risks

International transactions can involve different risks from those encountered domestically. These include foreign exchange risk exposure, political risk (which may result in the buyer’s inability to remit foreign currency), shipping risks (loss, damage or delay), customs clearance delays, quarantine, graft and corruption, and local legal issues and standards regulations.

Austrade provides valuable and practical information which will assist you in this area.

Occupational Health and Safety risks

Business owners and managers have legal obligations under OHS legislation, and you need to be aware of the legal framework that applies to you. Each State and Territory has its own OHS Act, supporting Regulations, and Codes of Practice which closely model a national framework.

The OPHS framework is underpinned by the principle of “duty of care”, which is a legally enforceable obligation to provide:

  • A safe place environment, including safe plant and equipment

  • Safe systems of work, free from risk to health

  • Safe processes for the use, transport, handling and storage of plant and substances (e.g. hazardous substances)

  • Adequate welfare facilities (e.g. first aid)

  • OHS-related information, training and instructions for staff

  • Competent supervision of staff to ensure that work is undertaken without risk to health or safety

  • A safety culture promoting improvements to the workplace.

Safe Work Australia provides comprehensive information about analysing risk in the workplace.

Food safety risks

The aim of food safety risk management strategies is to reduce the risk of food (and beverage) borne illness, which in turn results in consumers having confidence in your products. 

The Department of Health in your state is the lead agency for food safety in the manufacturing, retail and food service sectors, including issues relating to food composition and labelling.

FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) sets the standards in partnership with the governments of Australia and New Zealand. Its website provides links to relevant legislation in each state.

The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) guidelines and procedures have been adopted by most businesses involved in the production and/or service of food and beverage products to ensure the safety of the food produced and served to consumers.

Risk management steps (PDF)
Strategic risk assessment template (Word)


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