Saunders takes hot seat as WSTA chairman

Bibendum CEO Michael Saunders has been appointed chairman of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) following the departure of Dan Jago. Saunders first joined UK wine and spirits supplier Bibendum in 1982 and left the company in 2017. He then rejoined Bibendum as its CEO in 2018 following the group’s acquisition by C&C Group. Saunders is also chairman of drinks industry charity The Benevolent. In his new role with the WSTA, Saunders’ “main priority”…

Continue Reading →

Calls for more British gin at diplomatic events overseas

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) and UK ambassadors are calling for more British gin to be served at diplomatic service receptions overseas. The WSTA has partnered with the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) to persuade dignitaries to only serve drinks made in the UK at this year’s annual reception for oversees diplomats. According to a survey quoted by the WSTA, the biggest issue for diplomats trying to serve British drinks at events is a…

Continue Reading →

WSTA: Industry ‘vulnerable’ to no-deal Brexit

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) warns that the industry “remains vulnerable to a disastrous no-deal scenario” following the announcement that Theresa May will step down as UK prime minister. Last Friday (28 May), May said she would resign as Conservative leader on 7 June, with a replacement yet to be named. May has been the subject of criticism in her handling of Brexit – her Brexit deal was overwhelmingly rejected in the House…

Continue Reading →

Western Europe: ‘Premium innovation’ key to spirits

Western Europe has always been a key driver for the spirits industry, but with political turmoil throughout the continent drinks companies are having to be fleet of foot to deal with the upheaval. With Brexit, trade wars and the ever­-nearing threat of recession, one could mistake the political narrative in western Europe today for a hyperbolic news report from cult satire TV show Brass Eye. The region is an important, if fraught, mature market for…

Continue Reading →

Brexit: WSTA accuses UK govt of ‘pointing the finger’

The Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) chief executive Miles Beale has accused UK chancellor Philip Hammond of “insulting” British businesses in comments made regarding Brexit preparations. During treasury questions with the UK chancellor, Hammond said that “despite government’s attempts to engage with business” many had taken the “approach of the ostrich in the sand” in relation to preparations for a no-deal exit from the European Union (EU). Hammond added that businesses were “not taking…

Continue Reading →