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UK drinks industry launches EDI initiative with safeguarding priority

Published:  12 June, 2024

Leading wine trade bodies, merchants and importers have united to support the UK drinks industry's new EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) initiative, prioritising safeguarding.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and The Drinks Trust have formed a single Programme Board to initiate an industry-wide consultation.

This initiative is a response to the 2023 Women in Wine Survey, which revealed significant issues within the industry. The survey, commissioned by Curious Vines and Proof Insight, found that 44% of respondents had considered leaving the industry due to personal experiences, and 78% felt that sexism, gender bias and harassment were serious problems. The survey was highlighted in a recent Times article titled, “Is the wine industry about to have its own MeToo moment?”

A diverse group of organisations has expressed support for the initiative’s goal of creating an inclusive and equitable UK drinks industry, where everyone feels welcome, safe and supported. These organisations include:

Alliance Wine

Hatch Mansfield

Armit Wines

Indigo Wine

Bancroft Wines

The Institute of Masters of Wine

Berry Bros. & Rudd

Bibendum Wine

Justerini & Brooks

Bordeaux Index

Lay & Wheeler

Corney & Barrow


Court of Master Sommeliers Europe

North South Wines

Davy’s Wine Merchants

Pernod Ricard UK


Plumpton College Wine

Farr Vintners

Pol Roger Portfolio


Treasury Wine Estates

Gonzalez Byass UK

UK Sommelier Academy

Hallgarten & Novum

The next step is to establish an Advisory Council composed of industry volunteers with diverse experiences and skills, including Curious Vines founder Queena Wong. The Council’s first meeting is scheduled for this summer.

Headline survey results from the UK Women in Wine Report by Curious Vines and Proof Insight:  

- 92% feel that wine culture is still male-dominated 

- 78% feel that sexism, gender bias and harassment were serious issues 

- 76% feel women are underrepresented in leadership roles 

- 54% of women feel that they are discriminated against in terms of pay and conditions 

- 44% of respondents said they had considered leaving the trade as a result