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UK wine industry agrees to form one united national trade body

Published 05 July 2017

The United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA) and English Wine Producers (EWP) have voted to merge to form one single-industry representative body.

UK Wine Producers will be the legal name of the new body. The merger will be fully complete in the next few weeks.

The two industry bodies had recently conducted voting at their respective extraordinary general meetings (EGM) and results came back in favour of the merger.

Until the merger is completed and fully comes into effect, UKVA and EWP will continue to function as separate bodies, but will work closely together within the new structure.

The two bodies will now form a new board to drive the industry forward.

The newly merged organisation is expected to culminate the strengths and skills from both UKVA and EWP, with a purpose of promoting, representing and supporting the interests of all vineyards and producers in the UK, irrespective of size or scale of operations.

The merged body will act as a single voice to represent the wine industry at all levels of dealings with the government and other national or international organisations and to focus on control and protection of the provenance, regulation and quality of English and Welsh wines.

Other aspects of the body will include providing education, training and research, building tourism and developing generic marketing and communication programmes to promote locally and overseas.

Simon Robinson from Hattingley Valley Wines has been chosen as the chairman of the new organisation.  UKVA’s chairman, Peter Gladwin from Nutbourne Vineyards, will take the role of deputy chairman.

Robinson said: “This merger comes at a key point in the growth of our industry. The vote that our members have taken today demonstrates a proactive and shared optimism in the future of English and Welsh wines and the many opportunities that lie ahead for us all.

“There is lots of work to be done – not least to reinforce our position with government and to build on the many services that we can deliver to all members.

“We also have the opportunity to build a strong generic brand for our wines and develop new opportunities such as tourism and export, research and training. I know that the new board is looking forward to playing a part in taking this forward for all our members.”

Peter Gladwin said: “As our industry grows, so our members need the right representation and support to drive it forward. I’m delighted that UKVA and EWP are now to merge – it is a completely natural step and prepares us for the exciting future that lies ahead.”

Image: Two of UK’s wine industry bodies to merge and become one. Photo: Courtesy of John De Boer/FreeImages.com.