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Tesco signs three-year business plan with Accolade Wines

Published:  04 October, 2013

Tesco has signed a three-year business plan with Accolade Wines, according to the producers of the number-one UK wine brand, Hardys.

The link up will see the UK's largest retailer and wine supplier work together on agreeing business objectives for the next three years, which will potentially provide each other with the most efficient way of doing business, and, in turn, offer the best deal for consumers.

Tesco's category format director for BWS, Emma Biggs, told "The Tesco wine team is always looking for ways to work more closely with its key suppliers. One of the most recent developments is to enter into longer term agreements with some of our suppliers. By doing this we are securing the supply of wine, as well as guaranteeing wine growers with a buyer for their wine.

"However these agreements vary between suppliers and so it is not possible to comment on a case by case basis."

Paul Schaafsma, UK and European head of Accolade wine (pictured), said: "This is a genuine long term partnership that helps everyone. It will result in a collaborative way of working to find solutions that are in the best interest of the consumer. "

Take new product development , he added. "If we are talking to each other at the embryonic stage then it has got a better chance of success when it goes in to the market."

He said he hoped Accolade could become "category champions for South Africa, Australia and the United States" with Tesco.

The news was released as part of a joint presentation made by Biggs and Schaafsma at last month's Savour Australia conference in Adelaide, and brought "

Paul Schaafsma

News of the three-year deal brought  "great interest", said Schaafsma, from other international retailers at the event, including Australian grocery chain, Woolworths.

He hoped it would also act as a catalyst or motivator for other Australian producers to look differently at how they look to work with major grocers. "It was received very positively. It makes a lot of sense."

In many ways, he added, the situation is still very similar to when Tesco's head of BWS, Dan Jago, controversially told an Australian conference in 2011 that its wineries needed to look differently at how they worked with supermarkets and that they needed to think less about the wine they wanted to produce, and more about the wines Tesco's consumers wanted to drink.

The challenge, he argued, was still there for more Australian producers to understand their retail customers and consumers better. "Australia's market share has gone down since then so there is even more pressure," stressed Schaafsma.

"Gone are the days when a producer could get off a plane and go and see the likes of Tesco with its list of wines. You need to have a category plan and look at what consumers want."

He added: "It was also a bit of a wake-up call on how they engage with retailers."