UK to increase wine exports ’10 fold’ by 2020

The UK wine industry, together with the UK government, has set itself the ambitious task of increasing export volumes from 250,000 to 2.5 million bottles by 2020 following a record year.

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Participants in the first UK wine trade roundtable with environment secretary Elizabeth Truss

The fresh target was announced by environment secretary Elizabeth Truss this week and follows a successful year for the English and Welsh wine trade with sales reaching a record £100 million in 2015.

Truss’ fresh ambitions for the English wine trade were announced following its first ever roundtable, which saw producers and leading wine industry representatives brought together to discuss its growth and future potential.

Should the industry be successful in increasing its exports “10-fold”, the value of UK wine exports would rise to more than £30 million, with the industry exporting 2.5 million bottles of English wine by 2020.

Truss also hopes to see the area of planted vineyards in the UK rise from 2,000 to 3,000 hectares by 2020 and double the industry’s overall production from 5 million to 10m bottles by 2020. The the area of land under vine in the UK has doubled over the last ten years.

“Production has doubled in the last five years, with sales reaching a record breaking £100 million in 2015”, said environment secretary, Elizabeth Truss. “By using cutting-edge technology our hard-working grape growers are now producing some of the best wine in the world. Our goal is to harness the ambition of our English wine producers by flying the flag for British produce internationally and exploiting the huge potential for increasing exports. I have no doubt we can take on the Australians, French and Italians at their own game, exporting more of our top quality fizz across the globe and ensuring that the UK’s wine industry continues to be a world-leader.”

The new targets will be backed by the government’s Great British Food Unit, launched this year, to bolster exports, boost inward investment and support emerging British companies to export overseas.

The UK government has also pledged to help producers identify an additional 75,000 acres across the country suitable for sparkling wine production by making available new data on soil types, water resources, and infrastructure networks to ensure the future sustainability of the industry.

3 Responses to “UK to increase wine exports ’10 fold’ by 2020”

  1. Thank you for stating in your first paragraph that we are talking about the English and Welsh wine trade. So why the headline talking about UK wine industry. What’s a UK wine? Robin.

  2. Richard Bampfield says:

    “an additional 75,000 acres”? No shortage of ambition then! Do we really expect to have as much land under vine as Champagne?

  3. This headline worries me a little bit. OK, so the figure is probably attainable because exports are starting from a low base. But does anyone remember how the Australian industry tore through its 20 year growth plan in about 5 years and also bubbles such as Marlborough Sauv Blanc 2008? You could argue that to a certain extent they have been paying for overly rapid expansion ever since. I’m also not sure the government should be using phrases such as “By using cutting-edge technology”. Is that what we’re about?

    It’s great to see English and Welsh wine going from strength to strength and I will be delighted if the production continues to grow in a sustainable and quality-orientated fashion. I don’t think simplistic headline-grabbing targets are the way to achieve this. Why “10” and not “9” or “11”? Based on what? Quality land available? Would love to hear an alternative view.

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