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WSTA wins European award for Annual Conference

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s award winning Annual Conference was recognised at the European Association Awards ceremony last Friday in Brussels.


The WSTA’s submission beat five other finalists in the ‘Best Conference (less than 225 delegates)’ category, with the judges remarking that they were impressed by the excellent initiatives, like the Brexit workshop, on display at the Conference, and the structure of the day as a whole.


The WSTA Annual Conference, held in September 2017, featured a formidable line-up of speakers including Lord Price, former Trade Minister, and Tim Martin, Wetherspoon Chairman.


Also on the panel were Miriam González Durántez, Partner, Dechert LLP, and co-chair of the firm’s International Trade and Government Regulation practice and Sir Simon Fraser, Managing Partner, Flint Global, and who for five years, until 2015, was the Head of the UK Foreign Office and Diplomatic Service.


The Conference set out how the Government can deliver for the wine and spirit industry during Britain’s exit from the European Union, and also invited attendees to think creatively about the opportunities that Brexit may present.


The European Association awards were organised by Global Conference Network and are a celebration of the work that European Associations do on behalf of their members to ensure their voices are heard throughout Europe.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: 

“It’s a great achievement for the entire team to have won this award. The Annual Conference was hugely successful last year – we received a lot of positive feedback both on the Conference itself and on the Brexit workshop we held that morning.

“The whole team worked hard to deliver the Annual Conference for our members, and it’s brilliant that everyone’s hard work has been recognised and that we can now say the Conference is award winning! Planning is already well under for 2018, which promises to be our biggest and best Conference yet.”

 


Sparkling wine sales continue to fizz as Brits break another sales record

A sneak look at the data ahead of the WSTA’s next market report shows Brits continue their love affair with sparkling wine.

Latest sales data shows that over 120 million bottles of fizz were sold in in British shops and supermarkets alone, worth over £850 million, in 2017.

When sales from the on trade are added to the off trade the number of bottles of fizz sold in total last year will go beyond the 140 million bottles sold in 12 months to September 2017. 

The UK’s sparkling wine trade has enjoyed rapid growth in the last five years with volume sales up 89% and up 206% by value. Although sales are now slowing and no longer showing double digit growth, more sparkling wine was sold in the UK last year than any previous year.

The popularity of fizz has helped to boost the English wine industry, which was confirmed by Marks and Spencer who saw a 15% rise in English sparkling wine sales last year. 

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said: 

“Fizz is traditionally enjoyed by couples on Valentine’s Day, but it is clear from booming sales, over the last five years, that sparkling wine is a drink enjoyed all year round. UK consumers now have a far greater range to choose from than ever before, including world class English sparkling wines. To allow consumers to continue to enjoy a wide range of quality sparkling wines, the WSTA is calling on government to redress the UK’s excessively high duty rates which have helped leave Britain with the fourth most expensive alcohol prices in Europe.”

Liz Williams from Marks and Spencer said: 

“We have seen sales of English sparkling wine go from strength to strength at M&S over the past few years and we currently sell 17 English sparkling wines across our stores.  Sales of English sparkling rose 15% last year versus the previous year and we anticipate that this trend will continue in 2018, particularly in light of a royal baby, two royal weddings and a World Cup this year!  English sparkling rose has also been doing well, with a year on year increase of around 10% across our English pink fizz range. It’s wonderful to see M&S customers buying into locally made wines and to be supporting English winegrowers - the quality of English sparkling gets better every year and there are new producers starting out all over England so we predict a very bright future for home grown wine!”

The sparkling wine category includes Prosecco, Cava, Cremant and English sparkling wine amongst others all of which have found their way onto drinks menus in bars across the UK.

Prosecco takes up the lion’s share of the sparkling wine sales in the UK with Brits expected to have bought around 85 million bottles in the UK last year, according to IWSR.

This month saw London’s first all-prosecco bar, Prosecco House, open near Tower Bridge.

Brits pay a whopping £2.77 tax per bottle of sparkling wine, which is 28% higher than still. This meant that fizz drinkers paid almost half a billion pounds in duty to the Treasury last year. The French pay the equivalent of 6p a bottle.

The UK alcohol industry is one of the most heavily taxed in Europe, with British drinkers paying an extraordinary 68% of all wine duties collected by all 28 EU member states, despite accounting for only 11% of the population.

 

A sneak look at the data ahead of the WSTA’s next market report shows Brits continue their love affair with sparkling wine.

Latest sales data shows that over 120 million bottles of fizz were sold in in British shops and supermarkets alone, worth over £850 million, in 2017.

When sales from the on trade are added to the off trade the number of bottles of fizz sold in total last year will go beyond the 140 million bottles sold in 12 months to September 2017.

The UK’s sparkling wine trade has enjoyed rapid growth in the last five years with volume sales up 89% and up 206% by value. Although sales are now slowing and no longer showing double digit growth, more sparkling wine was sold in the UK last year than any previous year.

The popularity of fizz has helped to boost the English wine industry, which was confirmed by Marks and Spencer who saw a 15% rise in English sparkling wine sales last year.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said:

“Fizz is traditionally enjoyed by couples on Valentine’s Day, but it is clear from booming sales, over the last five years, that sparkling wine is a drink enjoyed all year round. UK consumers now have a far greater range to choose from than ever before, including world class English sparkling wines. To allow consumers to continue to enjoy a wide range of quality sparkling wines, the WSTA is calling on government to redress the UK’s excessively high duty rates which have helped leave Britain with the fourth most expensive alcohol prices in Europe.”

Liz Williams from Marks and Spencer said:

“We have seen sales of English sparkling wine go from strength to strength at M&S over the past few years and we currently sell 17 English sparkling wines across our stores.  Sales of English sparkling rose 15% last year versus the previous year and we anticipate that this trend will continue in 2018, particularly in light of a royal baby, two royal weddings and a World Cup this year!  English sparkling rose has also been doing well, with a year on year increase of around 10% across our English pink fizz range. It’s wonderful to see M&S customers buying into locally made wines and to be supporting English winegrowers - the quality of English sparkling gets better every year and there are new producers starting out all over England so we predict a very bright future for home grown wine!”

The sparkling wine category includes Prosecco, Cava, Cremant and English sparkling wine amongst others all of which have found their way onto drinks menus in bars across the UK.

Prosecco takes up the lion’s share of the sparkling wine sales in the UK with Brits expected to have bought around 85 million bottles in the UK last year, according to IWSR.

This month saw London’s first all-prosecco bar, Prosecco House, open near Tower Bridge.

Brits pay a whopping £2.77 tax per bottle of sparkling wine, which is 28% higher than still. This meant that fizz drinkers paid almost half a billion pounds in duty to the Treasury last year. The French pay the equivalent of 6p a bottle.

The UK alcohol industry is one of the most heavily taxed in Europe, with British drinkers paying an extraordinary 68% of all wine duties collected by all 28 EU member states, despite accounting for only 11% of the population.

Boris hears first-hand what UK wine industry needs from Brexit

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson MP toured the UK headquarters of the world’s largest family owned wine producer to find out how Brexit will impact the wine trade.

The visit to E&J Gallo’s offices in Uxbridge was organised by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association to help Mr Johnson understand the central role the UK plays in the global wine industry.

The MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip was shown around Gallo’s offices in his constituency from where it has been operating for over 25 years.

Gallo is a family owned US wine company which produces and distributes wines across the world. 

Wine from Gallo’s Californian vineyards is sent in both bottle and bulk to the UK. The majority of which is sold in the UK and the rest re-exported across Europe and beyond. 

Gallo’s UK operation is a great example of how wine producing countries use the UK as a hub for international trade. By visiting Gallo, the Foreign Secretary could see how important the UK is in the worldwide wine trade and how much it relies on a balance of imports and exports.  

The UK wine industry sits second as the largest global importer by value and volume (behind USA and Germany respectively).

Despite being predominantly imported; the UK wine industry supports over 270 thousand jobs.

Over 99% of wine consumed in the UK is imported and just under 60% of wine, by volume, imported into the UK comes from outside the EU, two thirds of which is bottled in the UK.

The UK boasts Europe’s biggest wine bottling plant in Avonmouth. It is also home to bottling plants along the Manchester Ship Canal and in Norfolk, these are just a few examples of how the UK wine industry boosts local employment. 

In duty alone, the UK wine industry contributes £9.1billion to the public purse.

Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Miles Beale, said:

“Our message to government is to take the opportunity post Brexit to enhance trade by removing all unnecessary regulatory barriers and allow goods to flow more freely between the markets. It was great to have an opportunity to impress upon the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, how essential it is that when we leave the EU we have agreements in place which maintain existing trade flows. Britain needs to hold onto its position as the international hub in the world wine trade to further boost the UK economy and provide more jobs.”

Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson MP said: 

“It’s been fantastic to visit another international business that has chosen to locate in Uxbridge and South Ruislip. After 25 years in Uxbridge, E&J Gallo is an important part of the commu-nity and local employer. I was fascinated to learn of their involvement along the whole supply chain, even owning sand mines to make their own bottles!”

Paul Sorrentino, VP and general manager at E&J Gallo Winery, said:

 “It was a pleasure to have Boris Johnson come visit our office.  Our EMEA office is based in Uxbridge and has been for many years, so it was a real delight for the team to meet our local MP.”

Theresa May addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month where she told delegates that the “UK will continue to be a global advocate of free trade”.

The WSTA visit to Gallo was arranged to show the Foreign Secretary first-hand how the UK wine industry would greatly benefit from the PM’s commitment to securing free trade agreements.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson MP toured the UK headquarters of the world’s largest family owned wine producer to find out how Brexit will impact the wine trade.

The visit to E&J Gallo’s offices in Uxbridge was organised by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association to help Mr Johnson understand the central role the UK plays in the global wine industry.

The MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip was shown around Gallo’s offices in his constituency from where it has been operating for over 25 years.

Gallo is a family owned US wine company which produces and distributes wines across the world.

Wine from Gallo’s Californian vineyards is sent in both bottle and bulk to the UK. The majority of which is sold in the UK and the rest re-exported across Europe and beyond.

Gallo’s UK operation is a great example of how wine producing countries use the UK as a hub for international trade. By visiting Gallo, the Foreign Secretary could see how important the UK is in the worldwide wine trade and how much it relies on a balance of imports and exports. 

The UK wine industry sits second as the largest global importer by value and volume (behind USA and Germany respectively).

Despite being predominantly imported; the UK wine industry supports over 270 thousand jobs.

 

Over 99% of wine consumed in the UK is imported and just under 60% of wine, by volume, imported into the UK comes from outside the EU, two thirds of which is bottled in the UK.

 

The UK boasts Europe’s biggest wine bottling plant in Avonmouth. It is also home to bottling plants along the Manchester Ship Canal and in Norfolk, these are just a few examples of how the UK wine industry boosts local employment.

 

In duty alone, the UK wine industry contributes £9.1billion to the public purse.

European wine and spirit trade unite to go head to head with Barnier’s Brexit Taskforce

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association yesterday (Thursday) met the EU Commission’s top Brexit negotiating team in a bid to move trade discussions forward.

Trade Association representatives from both sides of the Channel sat down with Michael Barnier’s taskforce to explain why it’s in everyone’s interest to keep the trade of wine and spirits flowing after Brexit. 

Last year the WSTA teamed up with the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), spiritsEUROPE and the Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins -  to nail down key issues long before the Artticle 50 deadline expires and calling on politicians on both sides to do the same. 

The result was a ground-breaking Brexit position paper agreed by all parties, in October, on how best to move forward with trade when Britain leaves the EU.

The same top team of trade representatives gathered at the Commission’s iconic Berlaymont building at the heart of the Brussels EU district to drive home the messages in the joint paper. In particular they focused on the importance of reaching a negotiated settlement – with a sensible implementation period and ground breaking new free trade deal.

Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Miles Beale, said:

“The Brexit position paper makes clear that partners in the wine and spirit trade right across Europe strongly support the UK and EU securing a comprehensive trade agreement. All of us want a solution that enables us to continue to do business after Brexit and to ensure UK and EU consumers will be able to continue to enjoy the full range of products.  

The next step is to bring the politicians onboard and that is what the meeting with the Brexit taskforce aims to achieve. Time is running out and the economic importance to businesses on both sides of the channel to get this right cannot be over emphasised. 

We welcome this week’s agreement to revise the negotiating guidelines and in particular to define the terms of transition to bridge the period from March 2019 until our new trading rela-tionship is agreed.  And, we fully support, only one change of rules at the end of the process. The WSTA has, from the outset, been calling for a transition period. Frankly we need politi-cians to deliver continuity for our industry, and not to indulge in politicking that risks delay or damage to our industry and its businesses – on whichever side of the Channel they reside.”

According to a document titled EU Exit Analysis, leaked this week, growth is expected to be lower in each of the three different outcomes than if the UK had stayed in the EU. 

Miles Beale added: 

“The contents of the leaked document, which suggest that every part of the UK economy would suffer, reinforces the urgent need for trade associations to secure future trade – and provide business with certainty as soon as possible.”   

The wine and spirit sectors currently depend on the freedom of movement of goods, and benefit from the freedom of movement of people and capital within the EU. These benefits are currently extended to the UK as a result of EU membership, and ensure smooth transit of goods across the EU-28.

The wine and spirits industry has come together to urge the EU and UK to reach a negotiated settlement that preserves trade flows and avoid border tariffs and related administration costs.

The group made clear that it is the united position of wine and spirit producers across Europe that no deal is an unacceptable outcome from negotiations.

The UK is the world’s second largest importer of wine by both volume and by value and is a significant market for wines produced in the EU, whilst the EU represents a significant export market for British spirits. 

Wine and spirits traded between the EU and UK are not currently subject to tariffs, and unless the UK remains in the Customs Union, or a Free Trade Agreement is negotiated between EU and UK, this tariff-free environment would change post-Brexit.The Wine and Spirit Trade Association yesterday (Thursday) met the EU Commission’s top Brexit negotiating team in a bid to move trade discussions forward.

Trade Association representatives from both sides of the Channel sat down with Michael Barnier’s taskforce to explain why it’s in everyone’s interest to keep the trade of wine and spirits flowing after Brexit.

Last year the WSTA teamed up with the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), spiritsEUROPE and the Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins -  to nail down key issues long before the Article 50 deadline expires and calling on politicians on both sides to do the same.

 

The result was a ground-breaking Brexit position paper agreed by all parties, in October, on how best to move forward with trade when Britain leaves the EU.

 

The same top team of trade representatives gathered at the Commission’s iconic Berlaymont building at the heart of the Brussels EU district to drive home the messages in the joint paper. In particular they focused on the importance of reaching a negotiated settlement – with a sensible implementation period and ground breaking new free trade deal.

 

Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Miles Beale, said:

 

“The Brexit position paper makes clear that partners in the wine and spirit trade right across Europe strongly support the UK and EU securing a comprehensive trade agreement. All of us want a solution that enables us to continue to do business after Brexit and to ensure UK and EU consumers will be able to continue to enjoy the full range of products. 

 

The next step is to bring the politicians onboard and that is what the meeting with the Brexit taskforce aims to achieve. Time is running out and the economic importance to businesses on both sides of the channel to get this right cannot be over emphasised.

 

We welcome this week’s agreement to revise the negotiating guidelines and in particular to define the terms of transition to bridge the period from March 2019 until our new trading relationship is agreed.  And, we fully support, only one change of rules at the end of the process. The WSTA has, from the outset, been calling for a transition period. Frankly we need politicians to deliver continuity for our industry, and not to indulge in politicking that risks delay or damage to our industry and its businesses – on whichever side of the Channel they reside.”

 

According to a document titled EU Exit Analysis, leaked this week, growth is expected to be lower in each of the three different outcomes than if the UK had stayed in the EU.

 

Miles Beale added:

 

“The contents of the leaked document, which suggest that every part of the UK economy would suffer, reinforces the urgent need for trade associations to secure future trade – and provide business with certainty as soon as possible.”  

 

The wine and spirit sectors currently depend on the freedom of movement of goods, and benefit from the freedom of movement of people and capital within the EU. These benefits are currently extended to the UK as a result of EU membership, and ensure smooth transit of goods across the EU-28.

 

The wine and spirits industry has come together to urge the EU and UK to reach a negotiated settlement that preserves trade flows and avoid border tariffs and related administration costs.

 

The group made clear that it is the united position of wine and spirit producers across Europe that no deal is an unacceptable outcome from negotiations.

 

The UK is the world’s second largest importer of wine by both volume and by value and is a significant market for wines produced in the EU, whilst the EU represents a significant export market for British spirits.

 

Wine and spirits traded between the EU and UK are not currently subject to tariffs, and unless the UK remains in the Customs Union, or a Free Trade Agreement is negotiated between EU and UK, this tariff-free environment would change post-Brexit.

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