UK trade members awarded Mérite Agricole

Four members of the UK trade were honoured with the ‘Ordre du Mérite Agricole’ at a ceremony in London this week for their work in supporting the French wine industry.

(l-r) Gerard Basset MW, Edward Squires, Anne Burchett and Stephen Browett

Legendary sommelier Gerard Basset OBE MW MS, former Sopexa managing director Anne Burchett, Edward Squires of Dedicated Wines and Stephen Browett of Farr Vintners were given their awards by the French ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Jean-Pierre Jouyet, at W8 restaurant yesterday (8 January).

M. Jouyet said: “The ‘Mérite Agricole’ is highly regarded in France due to the importance of the agricultural and rural community. Therefore, I am delighted to present this medal of ‘Chevalier of the Mérite Agricole’ to four eminent personalities of the UK wine trade who have done so much to promote French wines.”

The occasion was particularly important for Basset who was determined to make it between his treatments for the cancer that he has been battling for the last few months.

He said: “It is always humbling to have one’s work acknowledged and I am truly honoured to receive the ‘Mérite Agricole’ today.

“While I owe much of my success to my beloved, adoptive country and I am very proud to hold dual French and British nationality, I never forget that I was born and raised in France, so it is an enormous privilege to be bestowed with this commendation.”

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