‘Government hell-bent’ on ignoring wine and spirits sector

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Disruptive politics: the wine and spirits sector has been ignored by the Government says WSTA CEO Miles Beale
Disruptive politics: the wine and spirits sector has been ignored by the Government says WSTA CEO Miles Beale

Related tags: Wine, Spirits, brexit

The UK Government has neglected the importance of the wine sector to the country’s economy, according to the head of the wine and spirits association (WSTA).

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said the Government had failed to listen to the sector on matters, including Brexit and a deposit return scheme at its annual conference.

Beale told members the association wanted more assurance that policymakers would act to avoid trade disruption, shortages and import restrictions when the UK leaves the EU. 

He said the WSTA would continue to advise its members on how to reduce any negative consequences of a no-deal outcome.

Beale said: “As we have said throughout the past three years, we have to prepare and plan for ‘no deal’. 

Miles Beale said the Government was not acting on the sector's concerns
Miles Beale said the Government was not acting on the sector's concerns

“We’ve always said there will be significant short-term disruption and this has been finally acknowledged by Government once it was forced to publish the Yellowhammer​ report. Not a reassuring read for industry. 

“The timing could not be worse, warehouse space is already under pressure in run-up to Christmas and Government seems hell-bent on failing to act on the concerns of industry. 

“So much for taking back control.”

Confusing proposal

The introduction of a deposit return scheme for drinks containers could also impose a huge burden on the drinks industry, he added.

He said: “There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that glass containers should be included in any deposit and return scheme. 

“The UK currently recycles some 70% of all glass packaging and, in doing so, exceeds the EU target of 60%. 

“It does not make sense – and others agree.”

Concerns about the inclusion of glass in the scheme have previously been issued by other sector trade bodies​, including the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

Beale said the political climate meant it was even more necessary for industry figures to work together.

He said: “While events are disruptive; parliament and people divided; and in the absence of credible leadership, the WSTA is doing more, more often with more partners.”

Fresh initiatives from the association include a best practice guide for wine and spirit producers’ environmental impact and a website redesign.

Related topics: Wine

Related news

Show more

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Subscribe to The Morning Advertiser

The definitive voice for the pub trade

Get the latest news, analysis and insights from the uk pub sector straight to your inbox!