March 22, 2010
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
IBC 2010 is this years key event for all those working in the Brewing supply chain, from Grain to Glass, to come together and debate the key strategic priorities for the Sector. With industry leaders participating in the programme, global delegate attendance and a comprehensive exhibition from industry suppliers this is an unmissable Convention.
It's Budget week here in the UK and the drinks sector will be watching nervously for tax figures from Chancellor Alistair Darling.
From what we understand, it looks unlikely that the Government will press the emergency stop button on its four-year tax "escalator" on alcohol. This provides for a 2% above inflation rise on all drinks this year, which, at current inflation, means a 5% rise in real terms. If any sectors are to be hit harder than others, spirits and cider could be in the firing line for having seen lower tax rises than beer and wine in the last couple of years.
Pressure to act tough on excess drinking and the need to plug a cavernous hole in public finances are greasing the tax escalator's rollers.
However, there is growing concern in the industry that the tax system has made the UK a bad place to do business in drinks, particularly with value sales under added pressure from the recession.
Responsible wine merchants, pubs and producers are feeling the strain of a policy that threatens to neither increase Government revenue nor reduce harmful alcohol consumption. Fingers crossed that the Chancellor has got the message.
Continuing the environmental theme, brewing giant A-B InBev last week announced water use targets at its breweries.
In soft drinks, we pondered The Coca-Cola Co's plan to acquire Nidan Juices in Russia, as well as PepsiCo's soft drinks policy for schools worldwide.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
The full speaker programme for the 5th World Whiskies Conference now available. Join us in Glasgow 20-21 April. Book on line (with early-bird rates to 26 March) and join the global whisky business summit.
The London International Wine Fair is widely regarded as the key trade event for wine and spirits in the world today. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2010, the Fair delivers a unique opportunity for producers, importers and buyers to focus on business.
ProWein, the first major wine exhibition of 2010, opens next week in Dusseldorf. To celebrate the beginning of the trade fair season for the wine industry, just-drinks talked to Steffen Schindler, director of marketing at the German Wine Institute, about 2009, the potential of developing markets and fighting consumer prejudices.
The Italian wine market has seen its fair share of troubles over the decades, but connoisseurs the around the world still consider Italian wine to be top of the line. just-drinks here investigates the latest developments in the rapidly evolving Italian wine market, from Italy’s falling domestic consumption, growing interest in wine tourism, new viticulture technologies, and increasing opportunities to sell wines online. This briefing gives an in-depth assessment of the Italian wine industry, its future and potential looming pitfalls.
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