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Do you dream of a dry Christmas? Festive warning against drinking wine as industry chiefs write to government


Forget the vintage Christmas deals! Festive alcohol warning as industry chiefs say there will be smaller ranges of spirits and wine and fewer deals unless the supply chain crisis is addressed

  • The Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) has written to the Secretary of Transportation
  • Grant Shapps tell they need to extend their temporary visa plan
  • HGV driver shortage affects the wine supply chain










Industry chiefs have warned that there will be smaller ranges of spirits and wine as well as fewer offerings unless the government addresses the supply chain crisis.

The Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) has written to Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps telling him companies are still struggling to serve drinks to customers and urging ministers to ‘reduce the burden’ caused by the heavy truck driver shortage.

About 49 companies, including Moët Hennessy UK, Laurent-Perrier UK, Pernod Ricard UK, C&C Group and Matthew Clark, put their names in the letter.

“There is a growing concern among our members that unless urgent action is taken, we will plunge into delivery chaos,” said WSTA CEO Myles Bell.

“We are already seeing significant delays in wine and spirits delivery times which is driving up costs and limiting the range of products available to UK consumers.”

The Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) has written to Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps telling him companies are still struggling to serve drinks to customers and urging ministers to ‘reduce the burden’ caused by heavy truck driver shortages (file photo)

Bell told BBC Radio 4 this morning: “We’re not proposing anything too exciting. We don’t want to see panic buying of wine and spirits.

What fermented brands can be affected?

Moet Hennessy UK

Laurent Perrier United Kingdom

Pernod Rijkaard United Kingdom

C&C . Group

Matthew Clark

What we’re saying is that the thing consumers will see is fewer offers. The kind of offers you expect to get in the lead-up to Christmas. Smaller ranges in the supermarket and other store shelves and possibly some newer brands.

You may have trouble finding brands you are used to and should look for something else instead. A slightly lower option, a few brand new and frankly not the same level of presentation you’d expect to see in the run-up to Christmas.

The WSTA said its members reported that importing products was taking up to five times longer than it did a year ago, with companies previously able to fulfill orders within two to three days seeing shipments take 15 days to process.

It also noted that freight costs have risen by 7 percent, as delivery companies have had to increase wages for heavy truck drivers to keep them.

The WSTA wants Shapps to extend the temporary visa scheme for HGV drivers from February 28, 2022, to at least one year, to ease the burden on the industry and allow a sufficient increase in local drivers.

Freight costs increased 7 percent, as delivery companies had to increase wages for heavy truck drivers to keep them.  Pictured, the HGV driver in Berkshire in July

Freight costs increased 7 percent, as delivery companies had to increase wages for heavy truck drivers to keep them. Pictured, the HGV driver in Berkshire in July

It also wants his department to facilitate better freight routing from the UK’s smaller ports and driver networks for short-haul trips.

The UK government has said it does not expect disruptions to the alcohol supply this Christmas.

“The government acted quickly to address the challenges facing our supply chains, which have been caused by global pressures including the pandemic and the international shortage of heavy truck drivers,” a government spokesperson said, noting 32 steps have been taken to address the shortage.

Britain’s two largest supermarket groups, Tesco and Sainsbury, are currently running major wine promotions, indicating there is no immediate threat to the wine supply.

The head of the trade union warns that there will be little food available for purchase this Christmas

MPs warned today that there will be a reduced batch of food available for purchase this Christmas due to supply chain problems.

Shane Brennan, CEO of the Cold Chain Consortium, said the segment is focused on providing “things you’d expect to see on the shelves, but not necessarily all extras.”

He told the Transport Select Committee on the whole that global shipping supplies are going through an unprecedented period of strain and that it takes two or three days for fresh food arriving at UK ports to be delivered to stores, when this usually happens on the same day. or the next day.

The supply chain is facing a number of pressures, such as drivers leaving the industry and new recruiting difficulties, border issues, and delays in the movement of shipping containers.

Mr. Brennan told MPs: “It’s not about shortages, it’s about simplification. Having less scope is clearly one of the key decisions you can take in an effort to make supply chains more efficient.

It’s about reducing the amount of merchandise you’re expected to put on shelves and then working with your customer base to actually get that clear.

“We are very good at stacking and selling cheap at Christmas time. What we have to do is scale that strategically in order to deliver on the promise that there will be the things you expect to see on the shelves, but not necessarily all the extras.”

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