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WSTA Joins Government Roundtable Promoting Industry Growth

Published on Jul 11 2017 10:10 AM in Drinks tagged: Brexit / drinks industry / WSTA

WSTA Joins Government Roundtable Promoting Industry Growth

Industry leaders from across the UK's food and drink sector met with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs last week to discuss how best to encourage growth in the industry.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) briefed the department on what the drinks industry needs to maintain its global position and continue to grow.

The roundtable discussion, led by UK Secretary of State Michael Gove, was the first in a series of such meetings.

Trade Flows

The WSTA says that it is in everyone's interest to avoid disruption to historic trade flows as a result of Brexit, and that concluding a free trade agreement with the EU must be a priority.

“The food and drink roundtable has given us the opportunity to get together with the government and make them understand our concerns and highlight better ways of working together," said Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA.

"The UK drinks industry is incredibly important to the economy and we need to ensure government is listening to industry to ensure we maintain free flows of trade now Brexit negotiations are underway.”

UK Trade Market

The WSTA notes that the UK is the largest exporter of spirits in the world and the industry can only grow if trade flows are secure. Over one billion litres of UK spirits are exported to foreign markets each year, including more than 200 million bottles of gin.

Meanwhile, over 99% of the wine consumed in the UK is imported, and in 2016 total sales amounted to more than £10 billion.

Last month the WSTA warned that a 'cliff-edge Brexit' would be bad for both the UK and the rest of Europe, and called on the UK government to 'pull out all the stops' at Brexit negotiations.

© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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