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FROM THE GRAPEVINE: August 2019

FROM THE GRAPEVINE: August 2019

Originally published in London Wine Fair's Grapevine: 220819

By Richard Siddle

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WSTA's Miles Beale: why sustainability is now drinks' biggest agenda

In his time as chief executive of the Wine & Spirits Trade Association, Miles Beale says he has seen the drinks industry switch its agenda away from making the “social responsibility” case for wine and spirits to one that is more concentrated on the wider environmental and sustainable issues for the sector.

It has resulted, he says, in different demands on the WSTA and a change in focus on how it runs its business as its membership base also changes with the times. It is, for example, now seeing much more interest from companies up and down the drinks logistics supply chain looking for advice on how they can continue to run sustainable businesses within the sector in a pre and post Brexit world.

It's a similar story in the increase in smaller, medium-sized domestic producers of wine and spirits looking for advice and support as to how they can make the most of more export opportunities. Beale says it has also seen a rise in the number of overseas drinks producers seeking clarification on how they can best continue to work in the UK if and when Brexit goes through.

You can find out more about what the WSTA is doing and its future strategy at its Industry Summit on September 18.