UK calms South African bulk wine tensions

15th October, 2012 by Gabriel Stone

South Africa has won a number of concessions during a visit last week from UK business secretary Vince Cable, as the two nations work to avoid a “bulk import war”.

UK business secretary Vince Cable

As reported previously in the drinks business, South Africa had already raised concerns about the decision by major UK retailers to import wine in bulk, claiming that the move had already led to around 700 job losses in its bottling and glass industries.

Although bulk wine shipments have won support from the Waste & Resource Action Programme (WRAP), a UK government funded body which promotes recycling and emission reduction, Cable acknowledged during last week’s visit that it would be “socially irresponsible” to incorporate these types of environmental concerns into UK trade policy.

In a further sign of efforts to defuse tensions, which had led to South Africa threatening to ship Scottish whisky in bulk in a bid to preserve bottling jobs, Cable also conceded: “We need to engage with our supermarkets to ensure that they understand the implications of those commercial decisions.”

South African trade & industry minister Rob Davies noted that the World Trade Organisation had imposed no regulations forcing countries to keep carbon emissions as low as possible when shipping goods, while arguing that a product manufactured in the UK would not necessarily have a lower carbon footprint.

According to figures from industry data provider SAWIS, the percentage of bottled wine volumes out of total exports to the UK, South Africa’s largest export market, slipped from 50% in 2003 to 22% in 2011. Between 2007 and 2011, bulk exports from South Africa to the UK grew on average by 19% each year, compared to a 12% decline in bottled wine.

One Response to “UK calms South African bulk wine tensions”

  1. Hi,

    Any update three years on regarding the impact of these “concessions”?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

PR Account Executive

Clementine Communications Ltd
Fulham, UK

PR Senior Account Manager

Clementine Communications Ltd
Fulham, London

Marketing Manager

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, N7, UK

Brand Manager

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, N7, UK

Sales Account Manager

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London, UK

Area Sales Manager

Bon Coeur Fine Wines
North England, UK

Procurement Assistant – Wine

Adnams PLC
Southwold, UK

Account Manager Central London

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Brand Ambassador

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire, UK

Marketing Manager

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Regional Sales Manager – Scotland

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

Click to view more

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Click to view more