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Richard Siddle: why we all need to back or risk losing LIWF

Published:  03 May, 2013

The wine trade is normally a very civil place to work. People speak when they are spoken to, have washed behind their ears and generally all sing from the same hymn sheet.

There are, however, some noticeable cracks appearing when the issue of the London International Wine Fair is raised.

The level of high-profile dropouts from this month's show has been the growing back story of 2013. But it now seems those companies that are backing, supporting and exhibiting at the show this year have had enough of all the backbiting and criticism from those that are not.

They are all set to do business at ExCeL this month and are fed up of hearing how awful it is supposed to be from those who are not going to be there. Yes, most current exhibitors agree LIWF needs to change and have been involved in behind-the-scenes talks, with organisers Brintex, on how the event can be improved for the trade in 2014.

But whatever changes, Brintex announces it is vital everyone in the trade draws a line and gets back behind LIWF. It is great to go and see the world of wine at ProWein and Vinexpo, but what are we doing firing shots at our own trade show?

No wonder wine producers around the world are confused. Most are desperate to do business in the UK and are struggling because of the fierce competition and duty regime.

But if we don't even want to spend 20 minutes on the Jubilee Line to go to what was, after all, one of the Olympic venues of London 2012, then why should they travel across the world to be here?

That is why today we are launching our LIWF: Back It or Lose It campaign.

It's time to stop the moaning and griping, and get behind what is, after all, the biggest wine trade exhibition we have in this country.