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LIWSF debate

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Harpers Debate takes place as usual next Wednesday (May 17) at the London International Wine & Spirit Fair in Waterfront Rooms 11 and 12. The objective of the debate is to look at a serious issue confronting the industry in a lively, entertaining way involving the whole audience.

This year instead of a group of expert panelists discussing a specific piece of research, we are having a proper Oxford Union style debate. The motion is: This House believes that what is on the outside of the bottle is more important than what is inside.'

To propose the motion we have Keith Lay, marketing director of Ehrmanns, seconded by Kevin Shaw, managing director of packaging experts, Stranger & Stranger. Opposing the motion will be Robin Kinahan MW, director of wine suppliers HwCg and Nick Room, a wine buyer with Waitrose.

Harpers' editor, Christian Davis will chair the debate and Wine Intelligence chief executive, Lulie Halstead will be the expert witness.

The teams will take approximately 20 minutes each to outline their arguments. Halstead will then give her research-based evidence and then the chairman will open the debate and seek views from the audience. The two teams will then be given an opportunity to sum up and further persuade the house. The chairman will then sum up and call for a vote.

The debate is free and open to everyone on a first-come-first-served basis.