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WSET in new partnership with IOH

Published:  25 September, 2019

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust and the Institute of Hospitality are to run the Academy of Food & Wine Service as a joint venture, it has been announced.

Established in 1988, the academy is the professional body for front-of-house food and beverage staff in UK hospitality. It was acquired by the IOH from the British Institute of Innkeeping in 2017.

Under the new agreement, which became active on 23 September, the WSET assumes responsibility for the beverage and sommelier-related aspects of the AFWS, while the IOH continues to oversee the restaurant management and food service functions.

Graham Cox, UK business development director at the WSET, said: “There is a real synergy between the activities of WSET and AFWS, so taking ownership of the beverage/sommelier side of the academy is a great strategic fit for us.

“We will be able to add enormous value to the sommelier community here in the UK and globally via the Academy’s membership of the Association Sommellerie Internationale.

“I am confident that reinvigorating AFWS together with closer collaboration between WSET and IOH will benefit the wider UK hospitality industry going forward.”

Peter Ducker, chief executive of the IOH, said: “This alliance strengthens the AFWS brand as each organisation plays to their strengths.

“The result will be to enable AFWS to become the go-to organisation for skills development and thought leadership, and through competitions they will recognise the best of the best and inspire others to excel.”

The academy will continue to organise the UK Restaurant Manager of the Year competition and work in partnership with The Caterer on the UK Sommelier of the Year competition.

From left to right, top photo shows Graham Cox, Nicolas Clerc and Peter Ducker