BAME Wine Professionals aims to promote diversity in the wine trade

01 September, 2020

A new online resource is dedicated to shining a light on “wine talent in the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities”.

Mags Janjo of MJ Wine Cellars and Jancis Robinson MW launched BAME Wine Professionals in a bid to celebrate the talents of these individuals and generate more employment opportunities.

It will include professionals working in sales, retail, hospitality, marketing, PR, wholesale, winemaking, buying and logistics. The plan is to raise their profile so that they are considered when it comes to recruitment opportunities, industry events and invitation lists.

Janjo said: “For me, ethnic diversity in the wine industry has been an uncomfortable and much-avoided topic. Fortunately, the wine industry and society as a whole are now giving this the spotlight it deserves.

“My goal at BAME Wine Professionals is to unearth, celebrate and promote BAME talent in the wine industry. I strongly believe the industry will be richer and better for more diversity.”

Robinson added: “I feel strongly that BAME individuals should be better represented, celebrated and publicised in the UK wine trade and our new project aims to encourage those in a position to do so to seek out talent, and provide opportunities within communities that could well provide the wine drinkers of the future.”

The creation of the website has been sponsored by JancisRobinson.com, but Robinson said: “There will of course be running costs involved in maintaining this not-for-profit initiative. Mags and I would be thrilled if the wider wine trade would consider supporting it with donations, however small, and offers of sponsorships and mentorships.”

Sukhinder Singh of Speciality Drinks Group, Regine Lee MW of Liberty Wines and Ayo Akintola of Oddbins are among the high-profile professionals supporting the project, along with groups like the WSET and WSTA.

Pictured are Oz Drake and Theo Condor, who work in the wine team at UK retailer Waitrose. The site features links to some of the many initiatives on both sides of the Atlantic, such as @Drinklusive and BAME in Hospitality in the UK and Wine Unify and Black Wine Professionals in the US, which have sprung up recently with the aim of making the wine trade more inclusive and diverse.





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