Health & Safety

DOES IT APPLY TO ME?

This useful document, kindly shared by the NFU, lays out the restrictions that relate to farming and similar businesses, including premises selling food and drink, as well as farm workers. For further information click here.

Apprenticeship programme

The government guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisation has been updated with new information on continuing training and end point assessment for furloughed apprentices, and pausing new funding audits. For the latest Government update (6 April) please click here.

Cellar doors opening

A licenced cellar door outlet is permitted to continue. Due care and measures to protect your staff and customers must remain in place with the various procedures now in place. Read more here.

Retail sales from wineries are an integral part of many producers’ business models and the Government is planning further guidance to enable what it sees as non-essential retail to start re-opening from 1st June in phases, but subject to it being safe enough and retailers following new yet to be published COVID-19 Secure guidance. So WineGB will consider suggesting re-opening of cellar doors for retail sales once the Government publishes such guidance timeframes.

Tastings, Tours, Restaurants and Cafes - Recommendations regarding tours, tutored or paid for tastings, restaurants and cafes will follow when more is known. At present, there is no doubt that they must remain closed.

Clarification of WineGB policy 25-03-2020: Chairman, Simon Robinson would like to clarify WineGB’s policy on cellar door opening: As we said in the bulletin 25-03-2020, a) technically producers can open so long as they observe the various rules applicable to retail venues regarding social distancing etc. BUT b) we strongly recommend producers do not do so. We note that some other large wine retailers have adopted a similar line and we think that is the right call. We need to protect the long term reputation of the industry which is more important than a few bottle sales, even in current circumstances.

Closing construction sites safely

This information applies to any vineyards or wineries with construction work underway.

The Construction Coronavirus Taskforce, with the Construction Leadership Council has developed guidance to ensure the safe closure of construction sites. This ‘Advice on temporary suspension of sites’, is to ensure that any construction site closures can be achieved as safely as possible, avoiding potential issues while the site is not active.

Exporting: Guidance for UK businesses trading internationally

Guidance includes a new section on PPE export control process (Update 21 April). Click here.

First Aid

Vine Care Ltd has kindly shared its guidance with WineGB members on the continued provision of first aid in situation where the victim my have Covid-19. Read more here

Holiday accommodation

This MUST be closed at present unless the accommodation is being used as a main residence.

Mental health and wellbeing

Recognising the challenges which the coronavirus outbreak and extended periods of self-isolation can pose, Public Health England, has published an online guide to help people manage their mental health and wellbeing. Further information here.

Government advice on the use of face masks

This Government update includes a section on the use of face masks in the community. Click here for further information.

Public Rights of Way

DEFRA has issued new guidance on public rights on way after the NFU and other rural organisations raised concerns about the number of people taking to the countryside amidst the coronavirus outbreak and the wording for the Public Right of Way signs from DEFRA can be found here

The NFU has issued new sign which are available to NFU members on NFU Online - click here.

Risk Assessment for vineyard workers

Vine Works Ltd and Vine Care Ltd have kindly agreed to share their joint risk assessment to cover the Covid-19 outbreak period. Read more here

Safety of the workforce

WineGB has updated the best practice guide with its interpretation of the recent Government guidance as applied to vineyards and wineries: click here.

The Government has updated (19 May) the guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. For further information click here.
The government has issued as set of FAQs: What you can and can't do which includes returning to work and workers’ rights and refers to the Government’s COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Please also see the Government guidelines on Staying Alert and Safe Social Distancing (published 11 May).

The social distancing guidelines (updated 1 May) further clarify the requirements of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, and add information on clinically vulnerable people. Click here.

Staying at home

In order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus infection the Government has introduced the measures below and given the relevant authorities, including the police the powers to enforce them.

  • Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes (this includes travelling for work)
  • Closing certain businesses and venues.
  • Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.

Every person in the UK must comply with these new measures. Guidance in full with FAQs.

Testing for Covid-19

The Government has announced an expansion of the Coronavirus National Testing Programme to include further categories of workers whose jobs are essential to the UK’s coronavirus response, including those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery. As a result, provided there is sufficient testing capacity, most farmers, farm workers or members of their respective households showing symptoms, should be eligible to be tested as essential workers.
For further information please see the links below:
NFU coronavirus testing update
Coronavirus national testing programme FAQs (employers)
Coronavirus national testing programme FAQs (employees)
Employer referral portal
How to book a coronavirus test

Transport and Shared Vehicles

Safer transport guidance for operators: this document, for both private and public providers of transport, covers how to ensure safer workplaces and services for operators, workers and passengers. For further information click here.
The Department for Transport has also produced guidance in relation to multiple occupancy vehicles that are permitted for travel to work. Please see the letter here.

Working in vineyards

Our best view is that vineyards are considered as agriculture but we advise use of common sense:

  • If you are working alone and near your house this carries minimal risk
  • If there are more than one of you then maintain the prescribed distances from each other
  • Where employees are concerned, who need to travel to your place of work – travel remains permitted if it is work you cannot do from home. Again, common sense must dictate that you observe the social distancing requirements. Please consider whether you should continue to permit employees that have to travel from areas where there is more disease ie towns
  • We are discussing the position with vineyard labour providers and will be publishing a more comprehensive statement of the current position and a risk assessment/code of conduct very shortly. The statement will include guidance for members on how to operate their vineyards safely,
  • No volunteers (06/04 - WineGB is looking into this and will publish further guidance very soon).

Again, we urge common sense and self-discipline to be applied to common use of equipment (eg sharing tractors) in order to minimise any risk as is humanly possible. Other areas to consider should include:

  • Disposable gloves
  • No volunteers
  • Action in processes for frost watch

Business Support

Companies House 3-month extension and additional support

Businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. Read more here

Additional Support
Changes have been made (16 April) that will help businesses avoid being struck off the Companies House register as they deal with the current difficulties. For further details click here.
This includes notice that Companies House will temporarily pause the strike off process to prevent companies being dissolved. In addition, companies issued with a late filing penalty due to COVID-19 will have appeals treated sympathetically.

Confidential business advice service

We know many English and Welsh Wine producers are struggling with a loss of sales through the closure of the ‘on trade’ and experiencing other business pressures in these unprecedented, difficult times. Two highly experienced, independent business professionals have come forward with a generous offer to provide consultancy service to member businesses seeking advice.

Simon Thorpe MW

Simon Thorpe is a Master of Wine with 30+ years of experience at the commercial end of the wine industry including organisations as varied as Waitrose, Fortnum and Mason, negociants and Fells. Simon has worked across all channels and routes to market. He is happy to offer support and help with creating simple and actionable ideas for those wineries looking for strategies to cope with the short-term challenges provided by the Coronavirus outbreak.

Simon Bond

Simon Bond Is a recent entrant to our industry establishing Larkhill Vineyard in Gloucestershire. Simon has spent his entire career in Sales and Marketing focussing upon e-Commerce within the IT industry. He is offering to assist with marketing and promotion ideas together to create tactical plans to maximise opportunity in the current challenging trading environment.

Their help is offered on a completely Pro Bona (no cost) basis and would be confidential. We may ask them to write articles about problems and solutions facing members to be included in our daily bulletins but these would be anonymised and published for the benefit of others in the same boat. In the first instant we invite members to contact Jo Cowderoy by email: jo@winegb.co.uk , she will then put you in direct contact with the best person to help you.

Environment Agency charges

The NFU is in discussions with the Environment Agency regarding regulatory charges being made – could any member who is being asked to pay EA charges (or any other agency fees and charges) please let us know?

Essential/Key worker certificates

It looks as if some people are having difficulties occasionally with vineyard workers being prevented by police from getting to work. We have therefore amended our form of essential worker certificate. There is now one for self-employed people who perforce will have to self-certify and a second for producers who have employees. The two forms can be seen here:

  1. Essential Worker Certificate (template letter) - self employed (download)
  2. Essential Worker Certificate (producer letterhead) - employee (download)

They may not work every time as it does depend on the policeman on the ground but hopefully they might help. I should add that we are still very much producing these by the application of common sense so bear with us if we change them again.

If you wished to be ultra-cautious you could issue a new certificate for each day but it should not really be necessary unless you have encountered difficulties locally. You will see the producer certificate suggests it remains valid for three months; if for some reason the employee leaves your employment, you should ask him/her to return the certificate to you.

And note three other points:

  • The person concerned must NOT be showing symptoms of the virus or live with someone who is or who is self-isolating
  • You should consider carefully – and preferably document somewhere – that you have thought about whether the person really is essential to the business. In many cases it will be pretty obvious but it would not be right to issue essential worker certificates to everyone willy-nilly.
  • And finally the certificates are only effective for travel to and from work: they must not be abused and used for other travel or the privilege will be removed I would expect.

DEFRA has now issued a certificate that can be used by key workers for journey which can be used along with the letter from the Environment Secretary. WineGB has also issued very similar templates (see above), and members can choose which they use.

DEFRA are also finding that there are recurring issues with key workers being stopped. This is quite widespread, affecting all areas of agriculture and livestock, so discussions between Defra and Police commissioners are taking place to clarify the position. DEFRA request that WineGB members report any incidences with vineyard staff being stopped or turned back via WineGB by email: office@winegb.co.uk

NFU has shared its document on key workers. Read more here

French personal travel waiver certificate

This may be of interest to anyone who has dealings with France or get supplies from France. The French government have an essential worker certificate which will need to be prepared in French and carried at all times when in France. An electronic form in French is available here. For more information and the English translation of the waiver click here.

If you get supplies from France (or anywhere outside the UK) you may want to consider providing your UK essential journey certificate for the transporters, in case they are stopped by police. Both the WineGB and Defra essential journey certificates can be found above.

Funding initiatives

Deloitte have kindly agreed to share their summary of funding which is shared with WineGB members. There is also a facility to sign up for daily notifications (here).

This useful chart summarising the different types of funding currently available has been kindly made available by HSBC and Denton Tavara. See chart here

The Drinks Trust have launched a financial support scheme to drinks industry individuals who have lost their employment and income. Successful applicants will be awarded a £250 grant to assist them with essentials and to help them through the weeks ahead.

Additionally, The Drinks Trust helpline is being increased in capacity to handle calls from individuals suffering from anxiety and depression concerns.

Further information can be found here or by visiting The Drinks Trust website.

Furloughed Staff

Following the announcement to keep the social distancing measures in place, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to the end of June, Click here for further information.

HMRC portal open
The HMRC portal for furlough scheme applications is now open. Details can be found in the WineGB bulletin on Friday 17 April.

Step by Step guide CJRS for employers:
Useful guide can be found here

Advice regarding Furloughed Staff
There are differing opinions on whther furloughed staff can work at all during their period of furlough:

Haysmacintyre Chartered Accountants have kindly shared advice on furloughed staff with WineGB. Please see message below.

“The government set three weeks as the minimum furlough limit, on the face of it is seems like an odd length of time. The conclusion that we have come to is that it is envisaged that they are aware that certain members of staff, including those dealing with payroll or other routine tasks will need to work some of the time to keep the company ticking over whilst the sites are closed. This can equally apply to vineyards or wineries who may require staff to return to work for limited periods to fulfil specific tasks.

With this in mind, I can see no issue in the rules with being on furlough for three weeks and then working for a week and repeat. Or even being on furlough for 30 days and working one day a month to, say, run the payroll. The key is that the working days need to be consecutive so you can’t work one day a week and achieve the same goal”.

The NFU View:
Furloughed staff: The NFU view is that furloughed staff cannot work for their employer in any way while on furlough except for training. We would strongly recommend that any training is genuine and is not “stretched” by for example trying to claim that furloughed winery workers are being “trained” to bud rub. They can also volunteer or get a paid job with someone else but we would suggest it must be a genuine third party and not, for example, with a company connected in some way with the original employer. Click here for details of the government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Government support for businesses in response to COVID-19

The government has set out a package of measures to support businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. The principles of each support measure are set out on the government website but the detail of how these measures will be implemented is currently being agreed. See this link for the most up to date guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Further information is available here.

Small Business Grants Fund

The guidance for the Small Business Grants Fund has been updated (1 May) with additional information on tax. Click here.

For details of eligibility and delivery of the Small Business Grants Fund click here.

Information about state aid:

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
The extensions to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) means that all viable small businesses affected by Coronavirus, and not just those viable businesses unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible if the lender believes they will need finance to see them through these unprecedented times. This means many more farming businesses are now eligible to take part in the scheme. For further information click here.

“Bounce Back Loans” of up to £50k (which have to be repaid) are also available specifically to smaller businesses – to see government paper click here. For the Treasury letter relating to these loans click here.

Support for large businesses through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million. For further information please click here.

The business loan scheme for large business has been expanded. For further information click here

Government Trade Credit Insurance guarantee
This scheme (published 13 May) is for businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance. For further information click here

Share your rate relief and grants funding experience
We are hearing that some people have successfully accessed the business rate support from their local authorities, so if your position has changed, or you haven’t yet responded, please let us know. We hope to be able to share (anonymously of course) information to help others. Email Jo Cowderoy: jo@winegb.co.uk

Useful links:

  • Find your council and contact your local MP or councillor as they may be able to help: Click here
  • Government guidance on the grant funding scheme: Click here
  • Government guidance on rate relief: Click here
Government Webinars

SME COVID-19 Webinar Series for UK businesses
A series of 20 free webinars, designed to support UK businesses is available from The Department for International Trade (DIT) in partnership with Newable, Enterprise Europe Network and J.P. Morgan. Join the presenters for guidance on topics including accessing Government loans, grants and schemes to addressing HR, supply chain or employee challenges.
Please click here for a full list of upcoming webinars

HMRC Update

Monthly returns for wine duty (excise notice 163a)
This details how to send a monthly return and calculate the duty owed on wine. The duty rates table has been updated (updated 22 April): Click here.

Due to measures put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus HMRC has temporarily changed the way they deal with Wine or Cider Duty and request that payments are made electronically.
For how to Pay Wine or Cider Duty click here
For guidance on Monthly Returns click here
For an electronic EX606 Form (Monthly return) click here

Although WineGB has not had an official response yet from HMRC, since publishing our note on HMRC issues, we have been told by a member that it is possible to call HMRC and obtain deferment on both duty and PAYE. They are likely to agree it, we are told, but one month at a time.

Job Retention Scheme

Find out how to calculate 80% of your employee’s wages, National Insurance contributions (NICs) and pension contributions if you’ve furloughed staff due to coronavirus (COVID-19) here.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended to 31 October 2020 with changes to the scheme to come into effect from 1 August 2020. From 1 August 2020 furloughed employees will be able to return to work part time (a relaxation from the current all or nothing). Employees will continue to receive 80% of their salary for the scheme duration but the employer may not be able to reclaim that in full from HMRC from 1 August. The employer will be required to fund a portion of the 80% salary payment to their staff. For further details click here. For the up to date guide see CJRS step by step guide for employers (updated 11 May)

There was previously a change to the scheme relating to employee eligibility: click here for details

The Chancellor has made a Treasury Direction in relation to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme under the Coronavirus Act 2020. It sets out that HMRC are responsible for the payment and management of amounts to be paid under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

HMRC have provided the following details on how to claim:

  • the only way to make a claim is online – the service should be simple to use and any support you need available on GOV.UK; this will include help with calculating the amount you can claim
  • you can make the claim yourself even if you usually use an agent
  • claims will be paid within 6 working days; you should not contact us unless it is absolutely necessary – any queries should be directed to your agent, representative or our webchat service
  • we cannot answer any queries from employees – they will need to raise these with you, as their employer, directly.

If you are eligible for the scheme, HMRC will require the following details:

  • The bank account number and sort code for paying your claim.
  • The name and phone number of the person in your business for HMRC to call with any questions.
  • Your Self-Assessment UTR (Unique Tax Reference), Company UTR or CRN (Company Registration Number).
  • The name, employee number and National Insurance number for each of your furloughed employees.
  • The total amount being claimed for all employees and the total furlough period.

For more information please visit GOV.UK.

You may also find this recorded webinar helpful, 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme', available on HMRC’s YouTube channel.

For details on contacting HRMC: Click here

Local Authority Grant Payments

There is a discretionary grant scheme which allows local councils to make grants up to £25k to businesses which are not otherwise eligible – to see government paper click here
The Government has updated (13 May) the guidance on the Local Authority Discretionary Fund. For further information click here.
To find out the latest details of all Local Authority grant payments click here.

Seasonal Labour

Seasonal worker best practice guidance
This best practice guide, kindly shared by the NFU, is intended to assist employers of agricultural seasonal workers in applying the PHE guidance in practical ways. The guide is a collaboration with the National Farmers Union, The Association of Labour Providers, AHDB, G’s Fresh and Defra.
For further information click here
Or visit the ADHB website
Please note: WineGB are producing a version tailored to the wine production industry, which should be available towards the end of this week.
Defra ‘Pick for Britain’ website
The ‘Pick for Britain’ campaign to attract people to work on UK farms has been launched and the website to bring workers and employers together is now live. According to the NFU up to 80,000 seasonal workers are needed to help with the fruit and vegetable harvest across a wide range of roles from pickers and packers, to plant husbandry and tractor or forklift drivers. Employers can upload their job vacancies, and job hunters can enter their details on the website. GLAA licenced recruiters can also add their own website links to the Pick for Britain website.

Labour provision this season
WineGB is in regular contact with our industry’s main contract vineyard labour suppliers, as well as the NFU and regrading labour provision. Vine Care UK Ltd and Vine Works Ltd do not foresee any issues with providing labour this season and have given the following statements:

Vine Care UK Ltd
“I’m pleased to say, that despite the current situation, our usual work force is keen to return for the summer and beyond, so we fully expect to be able to continue supplying our clients with labour as normal.” Paul Woodrow-Hill. Website.

Vine Works Ltd
“We have a core of our workforce remaining in the UK and have staff planning to return when they are able to travel. We have no issues on staff getting to work as all staff have declaration letter in vehicles. We have had no problems of supply of vines as our stock arrived in the UK prior to look down and is in cold store.” Darcy Gander. Website.

Vine Works Ltd has updated its Vineyard Workers Risk Assessment to ensure all staff and customers are kept as safe as possible during the coronavirus outbreak. For further information click here.

Both companies reassure that all necessary precautions are being taken to ensure the welfare of staff and customers.

Defra has asked WineGB if any members are experiencing difficulties with essential journeys to get to work or have any other issues. Please let us know by contacting Jo Cowderoy by email: jo@winegb.co.uk

The NFU website provides useful information related to seasonal labour, including their mitigation measures, incentives and promotional campaigns to use UK workers in farm roles. The website also states that the government has confirmed that furloughed workers are eligible to collect wages with a second job. Click here for further information

The Association of Labour Providers (ALP) is running a ‘SWAP’ online portal for GLAA-licenced businesses to share existing farm workers. The GLAA will introduce a temporary licensing scheme to support the food production sector in accessing labour during the outbreak. Please click here for more information.

The government has confirmed that furloughed workers are eligible to collect wages with a second job and the NFU website reports on seasonal labour mentioning land army, feed the nation and pick for Britain initiatives. According to the NFU, the AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) plan to coordinate a general public web page for farm work. For more information click here.

Useful employment webinars
The webinars below may be of interest to WineGB members:
14 May 10am: Managing disciplinary and grievance matters with a remote workforce
21 May 10am: Employing foreign nationals now and post-lockdown
For further information and to register click here

Self-Employed Workers

Applications to make a claim under the Government Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), opened on Wednesday 13 May. The scheme provides a taxable grant of 80% of average monthly trading profits. HMRC has an online tool which allows self-employed people to check on their eligibility for the scheme.
For further information click here.

Sick pay rebate scheme

If you’re an employer, you can find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees’ coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and the online service is now available. The Government updated its guidance (28 May) on claiming for sick pay and you can now claim for employees who are self-isolating because they’ve been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus. For further details, click here.

Surveys

NFU living wage survey
The UK National Living Wage increased to £8.72 per hour from 1st April 2020 and the NFU is conducting some research to assess the impact of this increase on farmer and grower businesses. The information the NFU receives will inform its response to the Low Pay Commission in June 2020. If you employ any type of worker on farm, the NFU would appreciate it if you could give your views by completing this short questionnaire. The research will be undertaken in line with the Market Research Society Code of Conduct and all responses will be aggregated and analysed anonymously. The survey closes on Wednesday 29th April.

The Impact of the Coronavirus on UK Wine Production Businesses
WineGB members will soon be invited to take part in a survey to study of the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on UK wine production businesses. Its aim is to feed into the UK government’s planning to support businesses. The study is led by Professor Francis Greene and Dr Alessandro Rosiello at the University of Edinburgh Business School. More information to follow soon.

Volunteer Workers

A number of members have asked whether volunteers are permitted to travel to work on vineyards given that as volunteers they are not employees. WineGB Partners Paris Smith, have kindly confirmed the following:
It is clear that a person does not need to be an employee for a place to be the person’s “place of work” (as otherwise consultants would be completely unable to visit vineyard clients for example). The movement restrictions are contained in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020. Section 6(f) provides that it is an excuse from the general prohibition on movement for a person to “ travel for the purposes of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where it is not reasonably possible for that person to work, or to provide those services, from the place where they are living”. For more details of the regulations Click here.

It is clear therefore that volunteers are permitted to travel to work in vineyards. Helpfully it is also clear that the relevant regulation when providing for volunteers’ movement does not appear to require it to be to a place of work or for the services to be “work” – the provision of voluntary services seems to suffice so long as those services cannot be provided from home, which is clearly is the case with vineyards, but interestingly would also appear to be the case with wineries (for example when it comes to harvest operations). We would suggest that volunteers are provided with essential movement certificates similar to the certificates provided to employees or consultants. See elsewhere on this page.

Permitted gatherings
Note also that regulation 7 appears to permit gatherings of more than two people (otherwise prohibited) where it is necessary “for work purposes”. That may become relevant for some winery operations (such as bottling) where groups of more than two people are unavoidable although it is unclear whether the social distancing rules continue to apply. In any case, bottling does not presumably happen in a “public place” so there is a double exemption here. The best advice must be to ensure, so far as possible, that the social distancing rules are satisfied and that gatherings of more than two people only happen when absolutely necessary for work purposes.

Marketing Support

#Welshwinenight & #Englishwinenight

Following the success of last week’s online activity, we will be continuing with a series of Friday night ‘social’ events, each starting at 7pm for an hour on seven consecutive Fridays, starting next week, 24th April.

Each Friday will feature one of our regional associations, allowing us to focus on that region in the run up to the evening. This will include posts on social media, a dedicated page on the website and sharing a video presented by the regional chair. We will be offering a competition prize offered to a winning photo posted on social media.

We have slightly rescheduled the dates since last week which will now be as follows:

24 April: Wales
1 May: Wessex
8 May: Midlands and North
15 May: South East
22 May: East Anglia
29 May: Thames & Chilterns
5 June: West

To find out more please contact us. A ‘how to get involved’ guide is available here

English Wine Week / Welsh Wine Week
Saturday 20 – Sunday 28 June

As set out in our revised marketing plan we have changed the dates of English Wine Week (and Welsh Wine Week) for this year.

The decision was taken in the light of the current situation with COVID-19 when May dates are likely to be too soon given current restriction. Moving to June could allow for cellar doors to be open again and operational.

This year the campaign is likely to be driven digitally but subject to the COVID-19 situation, there could be the opportunity to roll out some marketing materials to support cellar doors ‘back in business’ and retailers’ in store activity.

We will use the Week to launch and highlight a number of initiatives and will keep you informed of further plans.

Exporters – Webinars available from Institute of Export

The Institute of Export & International Trade has launched a series of Masterclass Webinars to help exporting businesses. It covers a wide range of customs and international trade procedures, including customs declarations to supply chain management and finance. Each seminar lasts around 1.5 hours, and costs Cost: £175+VAT for IOE&T members, £200+VAT for non-members. You can claim government grant funding to cover the full cost of this webinar. All details are available on the Institute of Export website.

London Wine Fair Postponed

The London Wine Fair organisers have announced that they are postponing the Fair. You can read the full statement here https://www.londonwinefair.com/news/statement/. We will inform you of any updates as and when we receive them. Those of you that have signed up to exhibit will be notified by the organisers about the cancellation processes and we are also in touch with them to clarify the situation.

News stories via WineGB website - please keep us informed

The website is also becoming a much more actively used platform for information for visitors from consumers to trade, press and industry. Please keep us informed of any news – this could include new products or any new initiatives you are taking either individually or collectively – we will be happy to share.

Email julia@winegb.co.uk with your news items or press releases.

Shop Local Campaign: website and social media

Do you have any special offers on your online sales? We have noticed that many of you are publicising special deals and offers to your customers, and we want to help promote that. We have launched a campaign on social media – ‘Shop Local’ – to highlight producers’ offers. All offers will also be listed on the WineGB website. Please let us know what you are doing, and we’ll make sure that you are added to the list. Further information is available here The home page now has a link to a “SHOP LOCAL” page, which allows consumers to search for Vineyards in their geographical area who are able to do home deliveries. Soon this will also include a list of wine merchants/retailers that sell English and Welsh wines, either in store or online. If you are not listed and would to be added, or if there are any amendments required to your listing, please contact julia@winegb.co.uk

Social media support

Given how much activity is now taking place on line, the importance and relevance of social media has never been higher. We wanted to draw attention to two documents on the online Marketing Toolkit, available exclusively to WineGB members in the Members Area.

These handy guides outline in detail the importance of Social media and a guide to help improve your social media output. Topics covered include current consumer trends, how to set up your profile and find your voice; use of hashtags to finding your audience, increase engagement and best practice and types of content use for all three main social channels (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook). A range of handy pointers, hints and tips to improve (or even begin) your social media activity are included.

Tips to sell wine during coronavirus epidemic

Thank you to those that have added, and continue to add, to the ‘shop local’ initiative we have launched via social media. Meanwhile we are looking at other good sources of inspiration from around the world. Please find a link to evineyard.com that contains some good hints and tips about selling in the current times.

Industry Support

WineGB Partners, Patrons and Suppliers Supporting Our Industry

A. E. Chapman

In order to keep producers supplied with bottles A. E. Chapman has taken the decision to remain open and to provide as normal a service as possible, with good availability on most bottles. The lead time on ordered lines is about 1 to 2 weeks. Please call A. E. Chapman on 020 7622 4414 any time between 8.00am and 3.00pm Monday to Friday or send an email to aec@aechapman.com or aecsonltd@aol.com. You can also visit their website for more information.

Bruni Erben

Looking in to ongoing supply of corks and closures from Italy. Current stock list and contact details can be found here.

DEFRA assistance for our industry

DEFRA has reached out to offer help to our industry members with problems or concerns relating to the coronavirus outbreak. In the first instance please get in touch either with your Regional Chair or email WineGB: office@winegb.co.uk and we can collate the common issues and request help from DEFRA.

MHA Carpenter Box

MHA Carpenter Box are able to offer members financial advice.

Murphy & Son

Murphy and Son, a British company with over 130 years of supplying the drinks industry, have teamed up with sparkling wine/Champagne specialists Perdomini-IOC and are able to provide winery supplies via their website ordering system: click here.

This includes supply and delivery of all sanitation, filtration and winemaking requirements.

NFU Mutual

The NFU Mutual Risk Management Services team are now to provide a Health and Safety Covid service (for free to policy holders). Other information on the website inlcudes: ‘Guidance on preventing the spread of coronavirus in the workplace’ and ‘Guidance on PPE, First Aid and RIDDOR reporting’.
For more information click here.

N P Seymour

With shows and events being postponed and cancelled, WineGB Patron and specialist dealership NP Seymour is bringing the latest viticultural tractor and machinery news, grower interviews and insights direct to your inbox. Claire Seymour and the team would like to wish all those in the viticulture industry well at this difficult time. NP Seymour is continuing to support growers and winemakers and is striving to keep sales, parts and service as normal as possible, while prioritising the health and safety of its customers, staff and suppliers.
To read the newsletter and to subscribe click here.

Paris Smith

Paris Smith will support WineGB to ensure that WineGB members have access to legal and any other information that will help inform them over matters concerning their businesses.
Paris Smith is updating its website frequently as information from the Government and other sources becomes available. The specialist employment department can also work with employers to prepare a customised letter to issue to employees on furlough leave.

Please see the following blog posts for further information and details of how to contact the team.

https://parissmith.co.uk/blog/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/

https://parissmith.co.uk/coronavirus-advice/

Rankin Brothers & Sons remain open for business

WineGB Patron Rankin Brothers & Sons remains open for business and the company is working hard to ensure that orders can be supplied without significant delay. The company carries a range of standard closures in stock including corks for still and sparkling wines, foils and wire-hoods in plain colours and crown caps.  Click here for Rankin Customer Statement

Please contact the sales team on 01844 203100 or via sales@rankincork.co.uk

Rankin suggests keeping an eye out for regular updates that will be posted via their website and social media channels: www.rankincork.co.uk , Facebook: @rankinbrothersandsons, instagram: @rankincork

Strutt & Parker

Aware that many Wine GB members require guidance, and many are experiencing frustrations with the business rate exemption laid out by the government to support businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, James Thompson from the Strutt & Parker dedicated business rate team is available to assist WineGB members. Please email James Thompson (and cc Edward Mansell-Lewis).
Contact details:
james.f.thompson@realestate.bnpparibas
edward.mansellewis@struttandparker.com