The Wine & Spirit Education Trust has won The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade 2015 in honour of its success in reaching international markets.

The London-based WSET has courses available in 18 languages, across 16 countries, and in the last academic year 56,215 people worldwide sat for a WSET qualification.

In the past decade candidate numbers have quadrupled, and the proportion taking qualifications outside the UK has climbed from 37% to 75%.

Chief executive Ian Harris said: “As a country with a historically low domestic production, the UK has always been one of the world’s largest importers of wine.  This exposure to different styles and grape varieties has given the British a rich understanding of wines and spirits from all over the world – making us well placed to be world leaders in the industry’s education.  

“Originally founded as an organisation for training the UK trade, the team at WSET has worked tirelessly to expand its influence overseas and now attracts the interest of keen amateurs as well as seasoned professionals across the globe. It is fantastic to have our efforts acknowledged by HM The Queen.”

Harris will join WSET chairman Simpson MW at a reception at Buckingham Palace on July 14 to celebrate the WSET’s win, alongside representatives from other companies who have won Queen’s Awards this year.