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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Christian Davis

Joanna Delaforce, the new president of the Wine & Spirit Association (WSA) and the first woman to hold the post, wants to take trade issues to consumers, would like to team up with a major tabloid newspaper and possibly get a mention on one of the nation's soap operas. Delaforce, who is a director of HwCg and a member of the Delaforce Port family, outlined her plans at the Wine & Spirit Association annual lunch on 19 June. She told Harpers that she would like to extend initiatives such as the WSA/Harpers petition and, for example, see it positioned in off-licences and pubs. The trade knows what we are doing,' she said, but with the petition we could tell consumers that they are being ripped off by this dotty tax on sparkling wine, for example. If we can take it forward and get it into off-licences and to on-licences, maybe we can get it onto one of the soaps - The Archers was one of my thoughts.' On the image of the WSA, Delaforce said in her speech: This has changed considerably and today we are highly respected in the trade. We have recruited many new members and key ones, such as some of the major multiples. This has enabled the creation of a retailers' group which, we hope, will be a significant attraction to the missing retailer members. There is still much work to be done in this area.' Delaforce said that the WSA's constant lobbying' of the Treasury had brought a victory, albeit small, with the recognition that the duty on sparkling wine is anomalous and quite wrong. We will continue to press the case for convergence and tax cuts,' she said.