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Hamish Gillespie: Dealing with currency in the pre-Brexit world

Published:  06 December, 2017

The impact of Brexit on sterling has been a major factor in 2017 trade. Industry insider Hamish Gillespie, finance director at North South Wines, explores how best to mitigate the downsides. 

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“Mutual recognition” at borders could help facilitate post-Brexit trade

Published:  05 December, 2017

Brexit talks floundered once again yesterday as PM Theresa May was forced to pull out of a deal with Brussels following a row with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) over the status of the Irish border.

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DEFRA minister quizzed by trade on timetables and trade-route worries

Published:  01 December, 2017

Disruption at ports like Dover and the impact of drawn-out Brexit negotiations were two of the concerns raised at a meeting of the trade and Defra Food and Drink Minister, George Eustice.

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EU and UK wines and spirits chiefs launch joint Brexit proposition paper

Published:  19 October, 2017

European and UK bodies responsible for the wider wine and spirit industry have joined together to publish a joint position paper to outline their stance on Brexit.

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Brexit: Clarity versus chaos

Published:  11 October, 2017

At the recent WSTA Conference the trade called for greater clarity over a potential Brexit deal. Andrew Catchpole reports

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The week that was

Published:  22 September, 2017

In case you missed some of the headlines this week on harpers.co.uk, we have put together a review of the top online news, Q&As, and opinion stories.

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Brexit-focused WSTA Conference delivers greater clarity - on extent of uncertainty

Published:  13 September, 2017

The WSTA’s Miles Beale called on the government for “more active partnership, more communication and to get more done” at its annual conference in London on Tuesday, which delivered insights into the complexity of Brexit, along with the gulf of uncertainty that still exists for the UK drinks trade.

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Final panelists to join resigned trade minister at WSTA conference

Published:  05 September, 2017

The final panelists for the WSTA’s international trade-themed annual conference have been revealed.

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Looking ahead to the Xmas run up: Richard Cochrane, MD, Felix Solis UK

Published:  21 August, 2017

With the autumn tasting season soon upon us, as the trade prepares for the run up to the all-important Christmas trading period, Harpers is running a web series asking leading voices in the trade what trends and challenges they’re expecting to face in the latter half of 2017.

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Price-savvy Brits look to eastern Europe as Majestic sales soar 400%

Published:  21 August, 2017

Eastern European wine sales are up 400% at Majestic as Brits look to avoid price hikes due to the impact of Brexit.

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WSTA urges Government clarity to prevent Brexit chaos for businesses

Published:  03 August, 2017

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s chief executive Miles Beale has flagged up the “deep seated” concerns of drinks industry leaders over the Government’s apparent lack of clear strategy over Brexit.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: Three reasons to be cheerful

Published:  21 June, 2017

Ian Dury and the Blockheads released Reasons To Be Cheerful in July 1979, two months after Margaret Thatcher became the UK’s first female Prime Minister.

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WSTA's Miles Beale: No-deal Brexit "unacceptable"

Published:  19 June, 2017

The WSTA has responded to concerns around May’s promise of a "no deal" Brexit, warning it could leave the UK on a “cliff-edge”.

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Retail sales slow as Brexit-related inflation bites

Published:  16 June, 2017

Retail sales slowed in May to the lowest annual growth since April 2013 as shoppers begin to feel the impact of price inflation, according to the late Retail Sales bulletin from the Office for National Statistics.

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Breaking down the Brexit unknowns

Published:  14 June, 2017

With change the only certainty of Brexit, the trade needs to prepare for likely eventualities and present a united front. 

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LWF’s Ross Carter: The exit interview

Published:  25 May, 2017

Three days of the London Wine Fair (LWF) is quickly drifting into a blur of meetings, conversations, debates and of course, tastings of some truly fabulous wines.

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LWF Day One: The big Brexit debate

Published:  22 May, 2017

Breaking down the cloud of uncertainty brought about by Brexit into manageable bite-sized pieces was the objective of panelists at this afternoon’s London Wine Fair industry briefing.

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Daniel Lambert: Outing Brexit's looming costs

Published:  20 May, 2017

Daniel Lambert of Daniel Lambert Wines calls for clarity on the likely levels of trade tariffs after 1 April 2019 and argues that the public should be told

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Brexit panel debate set for LWF

Published:  09 May, 2017

Brexit and its impact on wine industry’s the flow of trade will take centre stage at this months’ London Wine Fair (LWF).

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WSTA outlines industry requirements in General Election manifesto

Published:  08 May, 2017

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) this morning laid out its five key asks of the next government ahead of the upcoming General Election on 8th June.  

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Value and volume of Scotch exports up for first time since 2011

Published:  28 April, 2017

Amid the uncertainty surrounding trade routes and tariffs thrown up by Brexit, exports of Scotch rose in both value and volume last year, rising by 4% to more than £4 billion and 4.8% to 1.2bn bottles respectively.

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"New chapter" for the trade as May triggers Article 50

Published:  29 March, 2017

A historic moment in British politics and the beginning of a new chapter for the UK alcohol industry took placed this morning when Theresa May signed the letter that will formally begin the UK's departure from the EU.

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BREAKING: Article 50 to be triggered next week

Published:  20 March, 2017

The prime minister's spokesman has confirmed that Theresa May will trigger article 50 on Wednesday, March 29, initiating the formal process for the UK to leave the EU.

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A look back at May's Brexit speech: What does it mean for the trade?

Published:  20 January, 2017

As we hurtle towards the hard Brexit scenario outlined by Theresa May in her speech earlier this week, there are two main concerns affecting our industry.

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UKVA and EWP urge government to crack down on "large quantities of wine" being smuggled into the UK

Published:  11 January, 2017

The UK wine industry has urged the government to crack down on excise duty tax evasion carried out via the smuggling onto the UK commercial drinks market of duty-free wine.

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Meeting the Brexit challenge

Published:  05 December, 2016

The UK referendum decision on European Union membership surprised many, but while the parliamentary and legal bodies work through the most appropriate process to enact legislation, the wine and spirit trade can use the time to plan for change.

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Can bullish optimism and higher average spend save wine from a Brexit bust?

Published:  28 November, 2016

With referendum result and the ensuring market turmoil, on top escalating overheads and competition from online/supermarkets threatening the off-trade, it's of little surprise that there's not much festive cheer on the high street at the moment.

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Brexit: UK wine producers to lobby UK government over EU customs union and seasonal worker scheme

Published:  18 November, 2016

UK wine producers have urged the British government to maintain zero tariffs on wine and to establish a seasonal worker scheme ahead of Britain's departure from the European Union.

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CAMRA calls for beer duty freeze at next budget to ease effect of economic uncertainty

Published:  16 November, 2016

The consumer organisation which campaigns for the health of the beer and pub sector is calling on the government to maintain a freeze in beer duty in the upcoming Autumn Statement and consider an additional cut in next year's budget.

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Wine wholesalers and distributors in "good shape" to overcome Brexit uncertainty

Published:  11 November, 2016

The majority of UK wine wholesalers and distributors are in surprisingly good shape to cope with any Brexit fallout, a new report has found.

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Brexit minister begins talks with the WSTA to discuss how to manage leaving the EU

Published:  10 November, 2016

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) met Brexit minister David Jones last week to discuss how the industry can protect trade and the 600,000 of jobs currently supporting the UK wines and spirits industry.

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A first look at President Trump: How are the markets reacting?

Published:  09 November, 2016

While Americans are reeling from what is being dubbed the "Brexit of the US", it's déjà vu for us here in the UK this morning.

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Jago looks to grow WSTA membership and "unite the trade" ahead of Brexit

Published:  07 November, 2016

New WSTA chairman Dan Jago has said he wants to strengthen the trade body by including more members in order to face the "monumental" challenge posed by Brexit head-on.

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UK exports on the rise in H1 and H2 2016

Published:  19 October, 2016

Emphasis has been put on importers over the past week or so, as experts warn that the 'cushioning' of forward foreign currency buying ahead of the Brexit vote is about to run out.

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Wine from the EU could cost Brits an extra 29p per bottle

Published:  19 October, 2016

The cost of an average bottle of wine in the UK could go up by 29p as a result of Brexit, the WSTA has warned.

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Independent merchants feel pressure as supplier price hikes start to feed through

Published:  17 October, 2016

The Bank of England warned of inflation rising beyond 2% on 14 October adding further concern to independent wine merchants who have already been forced to pass on price increases from suppliers to customers

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The Unilever effect - Four months on from Brexit, is the trade beginning to feel the bite?

Published:  14 October, 2016

As Brexit and the drop in the value of the pound takes it's toll on Tesco, what's next for retailers?

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Analysis: What next for 'Brand Britain'?

Published:  14 October, 2016

Along with the monarchy, Aston Martin, the British sense of humour - and some would say, Downton Abbey - our drinks industry has helped to put Britain on the map and strengthen its image around the world.

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Brexit is a chance to "simplify" international trade agreements, says Taylors Wines MD

Published:  23 September, 2016

At last week's WSTA conference, CEO Mile Beale announced the association is already starting to lay the groundwork for post-Brexit trade agreements by entering into discussions with counterparts in Australia and New Zealand.

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Silver linings: a post-Brexit boom?

Published:  15 September, 2016

Life after the referendum may not be as bad for the hospitality business as some feared

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Clegg addresses "denial and disbelief" at Brexit Ipsos Mori debate

Published:  14 September, 2016

Brexit was at the heart of informative discussions at two leading institutions in London yesterday, at the WSTA's annual conference and Ipsos Mori's panel discussion featuring former Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.

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Dan Jago takes over as chairman as WSTA outlines Brexit strategy

Published:  14 September, 2016

Berry Bros. & Rudd MD Dan Jago will lead the WSTA through a tumultuous period in British politics and history and the association prepares to make Brexit its focus over the next two years.

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WSTA in talks with non-EU countries on post-Brexit free-trade agreements

Published:  13 September, 2016

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has begun talks with its Australian and New Zealand counterparts about how to ensure the UK remains the beating heart of global drinks industry.

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Food and drinks sector "bouncing back" after Brexit

Published:  07 September, 2016

Food and drink companies in England and Wales have raised their growth forecasts and plan to create more than 75,000 new jobs over the next five years, despite uncertainty created by the EU Referendum vote.

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Wine to be hit hard by worst case Brexit scenario, says Euromonitor

Published:  06 September, 2016

Sales of wine and RTDs could be the worst affected categories if trade agreements collapse following a UK exit from the EU.

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Post-Brexit casual dining figures show mixed results across the UK

Published:  22 August, 2016

According to the most recent figures from Coffer Peach Business Tracker the resilience of consumer spending in causal on-trade outlets seems to be mixed across the UK.

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Rise in alcohol prices contributes to a jump in inflation in the UK

Published:  17 August, 2016

The Office of National Statistics most recent figures released yesterday, saw inflation rise to its highest level in nearly two years to 0.6%.

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Investors to look to "safe haven" fine wine post-Brexit

Published:  15 August, 2016

Over one in four wealth managers and independent financial advisors expect appetite for wine investing to increase over the next 12 months as the impact of Brexit drives fuels greater demand among investors.

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Drink sales return in July following earlier Brexit drop-off

Published:  11 August, 2016

According to new figures released this week from the British Retail Consortium, UK retail sales have increased despite the fear that Brexit had consumers cutting back.

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WSTA to support British Distillers Alliance through Brexit

Published:  10 August, 2016

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has pledged to advise, support and protect smaller producers through the current period of economic and political uncertainty.

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Miles Beale: The wine and spirits industry has its heart in the right place - the UK

Published:  08 August, 2016

Miles Beale, the chief executive of the Wine and Spirits Trade Association, reminds us while opportunities and challenges lay ahead following the Brexit vote "this is not a time for knee-jerk reactions", but "it is also not a time to be left standing still either."

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Brexit could put "dangerous" pressure on companies to cut corners

Published:  08 August, 2016

Brexit could lead to 'hazy' grape traceability and dangerous practices thanks to a squeezed industry post brexit.

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Lord Maude to speak on new trading arrangements post-Brexit at WSTA conference

Published:  04 August, 2016

The former Minister for Trade and Minister for Europe, Lord Francis Maude, will be the keynote speaker at this year's WSTA Annual Conference, which will take 'Brexit and the changing shape of the industry' as its theme.

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Insights: What could Brexit mean for bulk wine?

Published:  29 July, 2016

As the pound-to-Euro exchange rate takes a battering, bulk buying from the eurozone has suddenly become a less attractive prospect. What kind of impact will this have on both sides of the Channel?

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Big Four's stalling growth "can't be blamed on Brexit"

Published:  29 July, 2016

The latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published for the 12 weeks ending 17 July 2016, show slow growth for the supermarket sector, with sales up just 0.1% compared to last year.

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Diageo boss urges UK to protect Scotch

Published:  28 July, 2016

The chief executive of drinks giant Diageo has made a plea to UK governments to keep the Scotch market "healthy and competitive" in a post-Brexit climate.

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Conviviality boss says Brexit won't impact future growth

Published:  20 July, 2016

The CEO of wholesale giant Convivality has said that the rapidly expanding business is well placed to avoid the sting of the Brexit beehive.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: Lessons learnt from Brexit

Published:  19 July, 2016

Many of us in the wine trade rue the Brexit result. Some, including Tim Atkin in his recent Harpers piece, hope that it won't be implemented. I campaigned to Remain, twice writing in Harpers in support, the second time urging readers to join in before it was too late. Alas, now it is. The people have spoken

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Insights: What does the currency rollercoaster mean for the UK wine trade?

Published:  19 July, 2016

Following the referendum vote and the UK voting to leave the European Union, currency has been in a state of flux. What could it mean for the trade in the long term?

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Nielsen: Brexit shakes consumer sentiment

Published:  11 July, 2016

According to new Nieslen data, the sentiment that "Brexit will negatively impact the British economy" is now being held by almost two-thirds of shoppers, with younger consumers looking to tighten their financial belts.

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Rabobank: EU Referendum outcome to have 'critical implications' for beverage sector

Published:  08 July, 2016

According to a new report released by Rabobank today, the results of the referendum vote "will have critical implications for the beverage sector, given the UK's role as both a major importer (e.g. wine) and major supplier (e.g. scotch)."

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Tim Atkin: What will an EU exit mean for the wine trade?

Published:  08 July, 2016

What will Brexit mean for the wine business? In the traumatic week that has followed the referendum and the decision of 52% of voters to leave the European Union, the very question has seemed increasingly, almost fatuously, irrelevant.

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Brexit: Hush Heath reports rising demand post referendum

Published:  06 July, 2016

An English wine producer is in talks with a major UK retailer to significantly increase supply as a direct result of Brexit.

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Brexit uncertainty causes closures and U-turns in the on-trade

Published:  04 July, 2016

Economic uncertainty folloeing Britain's EU referendum has been cited as the main reason behind a celebrity chef's decision to withdraw from a restaurant development in Eastbourne and the closure of a fine-dinning restaurant in Harrogate.

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Brexit: "Scots need to drink more Scotch"

Published:  01 July, 2016

A leading figure in global spirits branding has issued some advice to ensure the future prosperity of the Scotch whisky industry in a post-referendum market - to drink more Scotch domestically.

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Italy soldiering on post-Brexit

Published:  29 June, 2016

Brexit loomed large over the Definitive Italian tasting in London's Royal Horticultural Halls yester

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Brexit: S&P strips Britain of top AAA rating

Published:  28 June, 2016

Britain's economic status has been rocked following announcements from two top ratings agencies that they have stripped it of its top credit ratings.

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Brexit: What's in store for Scotch whisky?

Published:  28 June, 2016

Diageo has said that protecting the long-term prosperity of its Scotch whisky is paramount following the referendum's shock result on Friday.

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Brexit: Fine wine market "returning to normality"

Published:  27 June, 2016

The bottom line from fine wine trading platform Livex is that normality is creeping back into the market following the referendum's shock result on Friday.

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Vin-X CEO talks up a potentially positive outcome for the trade from Brexit

Published:  24 June, 2016

Upbeat stories are thin on the ground following Brexit, but ex-City fine wine investment broker Peter Shakeshaft has presented an intriguing analysis of what may happen over the next couple of years

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"Keep calm and carry on," says Hatch Mansfield MD

Published:  24 June, 2016

A top figure in the wine industry has cautioned the trade "not to over react".

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Brexit: A good day for English wine?

Published:  24 June, 2016

English wine might be the only clear beneficiaries of today's referendum debacle as importers look to the domestic marketplace instead of the Eurozone.

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