Poached from Australian Vintage (McGuigan Wines), Schaafsma was Accolade’s general manager UK and Ireland. Ratcliffe will continue to advise on strategic development.
Accolade Wines is one of the world’s largest wine businesses delivering more than 35 million cases (9-litre equivalents, 12 bottle cases) in 143 countries totalling AUS$1 billion in sales annually
Following the acquisition of Chile’s Viña Anakena, Accolade claims to be the only wine company with a presence in all the major New World wine regions.
Schaafsma has been in the wine industry for nearly 20 years, with extensive experience in the Australian, UK, European and African markets.
For the past three years Schaafsma has headed the largest division of Accolade Wines, the UK and Ireland region, where the business is the number one wine company by value and volume, more than double the size of its nearest competitor.
The company says under his leadership the market share of Accolade Wines in the UK has grown by more than 70% and Hardys, the leading wine brand in the UK on trade and off trade, has increased its market share by almost 16%.
The Accolade board paid tribute to Ratcliffe during whose tenure the company established its position as a major supplier of New World premium, commercial and value wines from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the US and Chile.
Accolade says under Schaafsma’s leadership, the company has delivered industry-leading performance with a portfolio centred on Hardys, which has sales in 150 countries.
Ratcliffe has agreed that he become non executive deputy chairman ahead of time. Ratcliffe will pursue his other business activities while continuing to provide strategic advice to the board.
Schaafsma will take up his appointment on October 1. He will be spending time in all of Accolade Wines’ markets, travelling from bases in the UK and Australia.