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McGrath to head new WSTA super committee

Published:  23 July, 2008

The WSTA's long period of restructuring has finally come to end with the creation of the WSTA Wine Importers' Panel and the consequent abolition of eight Shippers' Committees.

Members of the new panel will include five generic bodies and 15 wine importers, representing all parts of the sector, and will be the lead group in the development of WSTA wine policy.

The panel will be chaired by Patrick McGrath, managing director of Hatch Mansfield and WSTA Executive Board member.

It's the final stage of our streamlining of the committee system here,' said Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the WSTA. We used to have eight regional committees which, to a certain extent, duplicated efforts and were a drain on resources, both for us and the companies who had to supply their staff to us.

We've now got one main panel that can discuss the big issues affecting the wine trade and provide one strong, clear voice for it.

In effect, it mirrors the other panels, such as the one for retailers, that we have established. We feel we now have a streamlined system that still reflects the view of the various sectors of the industry from which we draw our membership.'

McGrath commented: I am pleased to have been involved in the creation of this panel, which will fully and equally represent the interests of all UK wine importers. The work of the panel will be forward looking, and we will be proactively campaigning on behalf of the UK wine trade.'