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Harpers raises the debate on bulk shipping at London Wine Fair

Published:  08 May, 2015

Harpers will raise the debate on bulk shipping at a seminar at this year's London Wine Fair.

The debate, which is being held on the show's opening day, will look at the industry's shift towards bulk sourcing as a means to grow profit and asks if the impact on jobs in the country of origin outweighs the commercial gains.

A panel of industry experts from across the sector will join Su Birch, former chief executive of Wines of South Africa, who represents the #creatingvalue@origin initiative, a not-for-profit group campaigning for more bottling to be carried out in South Africa to create jobs and support the industry's sustainability.

She will be joined by panellists from all sides of the argument, including Joan Torrents, buying director of Enotria, Andrew Shaw, buying director of Bibendum PLB Group, Paul Schaafsma, general manager UK at Accolade Wines, Bernard Fontannaz, founder and managing director of Origin Wines and The Coop's wine buyer, Edward Robinson, wine buyer.

Bulk shipment is often presented as a commercial & ecological necessity which reduces the wine industry's carbon footprint, but the panel will look at the other side of the argument, in which bulk is seen to threatend jobs in the country of origin, while also undermining the provenance, if not the quality, of the wines themselves.

Harper's London Wine Fair 2015 Debate

When: Monday 18 May, 11am - 12 midday

Where: Industry Briefings, The London Wine Fair

What: Harpers Debate: Bulk shipping - Commercial necessity or undermining ethical sourcing?