Miles Beale on the challenges the drinks industry faces

As CEO of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Miles Beale has much to lobby about on behalf of the organisation’s members. With the fallout from Covid-19, tariffs and Brexit to contend with, he tells The Spirit Business about the current state of affairs. First Brexit, then trade wars and most recently Covid‐19 – the past few years have presented the perfect storm of challenges for the UK drinks industry. At times like this, the…

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UK should be ‘bastion of free trade’ post-Brexit

The UK should be a “bastion of free trade” and “looking to remove tariffs as far as possible”, the chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has encouraged. Single malt Scotch, single malt Irish whiskey and liqueurs made in the UK have been subject to a 25% import tariff from the US since October last year. The US introduced the tariffs on these alcoholic beverages, along with many other EU-made goods, in…

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Caribbean rum to maintain existing tariffs post-Brexit

Caribbean rum producers have welcomed the UK’s decision to maintain existing tariffs post-Brexit in order to protect brands from “unfair competition” from “cheap rum” being imported from other countries. When the UK’s Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020, Caribbean rum producers will benefit from the agreement negotiated by the trade and Caribbean governments to ensure tariffs on low-priced products continue. The UK government published its new Global Tarifff (UKGT) report in May, which…

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A drink with… Patrick Raguenaud, BNIC

BNIC president Patrick Raguenaud on changes to the Cognac regulations and the steps being taken to attract new drinkers. *This feature was originally published in the February 2020 issue of The Spirits Business Was 2019 a good year for Cognac? Yes, 2019 was a very good year, with 216.5 million bottles in total shipped from Cognac, resulting in a turnover of €3.6 billion (US$3.97bn). The industry intends to keep growing the production capacity by allowing…

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Trade tensions drive French wine and spirits exports up

French spirits exports recorded a “significant increase” of 8.8% last year amid geopolitical tension and uncertainty. Data from trade body the Fédération des Exportateurs de Vins & Spiritueux de France (FEVS) showed that spirits exports reached €4.7 billion (US$5.1bn) with “stable volumes” at 53 million cases. French wines and spirits exports hit €14bn (US$15.1bn) in 2019, an increase of 5.9%. Wine shipments grew 4.4% to €9.3bn (US$10bn). The trade body warned that this increase was…

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