GB wine industry ambitions gain strong support from DEFRA Agriculture Minister

The wine industry of Great Britain gained positive support from the Agriculture Minister, Victoria Prentis, in a meeting between the industry’s representative body Wines of Great Britain (WineGB) and DEFRA officials on Tuesday 18th May.

WineGB’s Chairman Simon Robinson and CEO Simon Thorpe MW updated the Minister and her officials on the current state of the industry, which remains one of the fastest growing agriculture sectors in the UK today. With over 1m vines being planted each year and a growing reputation for excellence among the trade and consumers over the past 5 years, the industry presents itself as a fast-developing wine region of world renown. The industry remains confident that sales, tourism and exports will continue their strong growth with the opening of trade after the pandemic. Wine tourism in Britain is proving an additional driver to success, with vineyards and wineries attracting a growing number of visitors as well as increasing their e-commerce direct to consumer sales. The industry is also fully committed to sustainability across the sector, with its own scheme now in operation.

The meeting with DEFRA enabled WineGB to lay out its vision for the future of the industry and its growing contribution to the economy. It led to further discussion on how Whitehall can support various initiatives. These include developing overseas markets, building a research and development programme for innovative sustainable viticultural practices and enhancing the skills provision for the ever increasing number of jobs being created in the sector.
Victoria Prentis congratulated WineGB and English and Welsh wine producers for the great success achieved over the past years and expressed her strong support for industry initiatives. She and the DEFRA team will look for ways to collaborate further and to help drive the agenda both within DEFRA itself and other government departments.

Victoria Prentis, Defra Food Minister, said:
“Our domestic wine industry is a real success story. The global export ambitions of this innovative and growing sector are testament to the strong international reputation of quality English and Welsh wine.”

“The Government will continue to support various initiatives in the sector and to help drive its ambitious agenda forward including through close cooperation in international forums like the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). I look forward to seeing new and exciting opportunities for agricultural development, rural employment, training and tourism for the industry.”

WineGB Chairman, Simon Robinson said:
“It’s a hugely exciting time for our industry, one of growth in sales and awareness. WineGB is pushing forward on many fronts and we very much welcome the support of the minister and DEFRA in helping us to achieve our objectives.”

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