WSTA joins Government at food and drink roundtable

The Wine & Spirits Association has been called upon to brief Defra ministers on what the drinks industry needs to maintain its number one global position and continue to grow.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, attended a roundtable event led by Secretary of State Michael Gove; the event was the first in a series of meetings to bring together the people and influencers at the cutting edge of the UK’s food and drink sector.

Beale said: “The food and drink roundtable has given us the opportunity to get together with government and make them understand our concerns and highlight better ways of working together. As a follow up to the meeting I have also written a letter to Mr Gove spelling out what Government needs to do to protect The UK’s status as the number one global hub for wine imports and the world’s biggest exporter of spirits. The UK drinks industry is incredibly important to the economy and we need to ensure government is listening to the industry to ensure we maintain free flows of trade now Brexit negotiations are underway.”

He added: “There is an unequivocal economic argument that is in everyone’s interest – EU producers and UK exporters alike – to avoid disruption to historic trade flows.

“Given the volume of goods going to and from the EU, our overriding priority must be to conclude an FTA with the EU first…. We would strongly support the use of interim arrangements following the UK’s formal exit…. Allowing trade to continue unhindered while FTA negotiations conclude.”

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