What would be the implications of the #Brexit on wine sector ?


The world of the English vine growing would indeed be favored by the protectionism which would entail this separation. But the English consumer who is very lit on the subject, would he suffer from it? The long-term sequels remain still unknown, but on the short-term consequences is for sure that the profession would suffer from it and the trade would not be facilitated there. Mainly nowadays due to the devaluation of the currency. The new Prime Minister is now named, Mrs Theresa May, and wants to make a success of the exit of her country of the EU. Wine stewards, agents and independent distributors remain nevertheless optimistic, due to the long term of the process. And following an english analyst of the domestic wine market : ” The initial biggest losers will, ironically, be those buying the least amount of wine. Namely the growing number of independent merchants and restaurants buying directly from European producers.” Indeed faced with higher supply chain costs.

brexit02All the wine chain will certainly be attentive in the coming months, and surely on the trade issue. The focus will then be shifted to how wine can be bought and moved across the EU. It will certainly be a relevant dialogue to follow between individual wine producing countries and the World Trade Organisation in the next future. The wine of the non-European wine producers will be easier and potentially cheaper to import, and won’t be hit by current EU-import duties. And EU producers will then be encouraged to stay on the Continent. But how the world of commerce of wines will meet the challenge?

The distribution sector can be innovative and be motivated on three levels: the wine shops, the general stores and the digitals applications. To keep consumers entertained to taste and discover new productions. There are now numerous projects ongoing around the world, like Miguel Torres’s efforts to re-introduce old Catalan varieties in Spain. Or the “Wine Mosaic” programme trying to bring to life old indigenous varietals like the “Obeidi” grape in Lebanon. The wine shops can be an alternative to supermarkets, they can offer better advices and more complementarity. Or some consumers can be also attracted by the digital world, for example by targeted marketing. Trade ambassadors can be rewarded with new products and promotions. But ultimately isn’t it to the global wine trade’s interest for the UK to remain a vital export hub. Is a collective international effort not worthy to be made to make it work in everyone’s interest ? By finding solutions and trade agreements.

As a reminder Sir Winston Churchill stated in 1946 in Zurich: “It is to recreate the European fabric, and to provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, safely and freedom. Therefore I say to you, let Europe arise!”. But the final consumer will of course be the regulator of the sector…

Olivier Bulto