Top wine fairs commit to Brexit debates

09 May, 2017

Vinexpo Bordeaux and the London Wine Fair have both committed to addressing the potential market-threatening effects of Brexit by hosting industry debates.

The London Wine Fair will host the Grapevine Debate looking specifically at the effects on the UK wine market, while Vinexpo will hold a conference at Bordeaux’s Parc des Expositions to address the five key issues facing the European market.

Ross Carter, LWF director, said: “When we canvassed our visitor and exhibitor audience on topics they were keen to see debated at The London Wine Fair, the response was overwhelmingly ‘Brexit’. 

“We expect this to be an extremely lively and of course topical debate, with the panel giving the wine industry a better idea of what ‘Brexit’ can mean and how to maximise opportunities and minimise adverse impacts.”

The Grapevine debate will feature a panel of experts on the subject and will take place on Monday, 22 May.

Meanwhile, the five topics identified ahead of the Vinexpo exhibition include a trade agreement update, the main challenges for the wine and spirits industry, the impact on the UK, duty free retail opportunities and protection of designation of origin areas.

Jane Anson, conference moderator at Vinexpo, said: “Because the UK is the world’s second largest imported wine market and a major spirits exporter, the Brexit challenge is as acute for the UK as it is for wine producers in France, Italy and Spain and elsewhere in the world.”

The conference will open with a review of the current EU trade agreement regarding wine and spirits imports, exports and tariffs which will be discussed with 48,000 wine producers and buyers from 150 countries.

Guillaume Deglise, CEO of Vinexpo added: “In a wider context, among our 48,000 attendees there will be producers and buyers currently excluded from the EU favourable tariff zone who see Brexit as an opportunity to penetrate the UK wine and spirits market.”

The value of UK wine imports amounts to £28bn according to VIinexpo/IWSR data for 2015 and volume imports are forecast to slow over the next five years, while exports of all spirits from the UK reached £4.9bn in 2016.

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