Australian producers have widely welcomed the announcement of a Free Trade Agreement between the UK and Australia.
Although details of the deal are still to be finalised in principle 99 per cent of Australian imports, including Australian wine and spirits, will enter the UK duty free, once the agreement comes into force.
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) CEO Tim Ford told The Shout: “TWE welcomes the announcement of an in-principle free trade agreement between Australia and the UK, in particular the elimination of wine import tariffs when the agreement commences.
“The progress made on the agreement is good news for the wine industry as it continues to grow demand for Australian brands around the world, including the UK’s competitive wine market.
“As a global premium wine company, TWE already has a presence in the UK and has built a track record for our key brands including Penfolds, 19 Crimes, Wolf Blass and Lindeman’s. We are excited to create new opportunities in the UK market through product innovation, engaging brands, and even better consumer experiences.
“TWE looks forward to working with the Australian Government and industry as it seeks to finalise the agreement.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by Libby Nutt, General Manager, Marketing & Export Sales at Casella, who told The Shout: “The Australia-UK FTA is a fantastic outcome for the industry, both UK and Australian wine and spirits producers alike. From an export perspective it can only strengthen the opportunity for Australian wine producers by removing unnecessary tariffs, and will give British consumers a more diverse range of quality Australian wines to choose from.
“The UK is one of the fastest growing markets for [yellow tail] wine seeing 38 per cent growth (MAT April 2020 v 2021), and is now our second largest market. We are also investing in growing our premium brands, such as Peter Lehmann, so this news comes at a very exciting time for us.”
Anjanette Murfet, Chief People and Communications Officer, Accolade Wines, told The Shout that Accolade “strongly supports improved market access for British and Australian goods, and the removal of tariffs on Australian wine”.
She added: “We have advocated for this with the Australian and British government a mutually beneficial trade deal between Australia and the UK will offer British consumers an even greater choice of Australian wines – from premium Australian full-bodied reds to a range of soft and fruity whites – when they visit their local supermarket or off-licence, or enjoy a meal at a pub or restaurant in the months and years ahead.
“While we will wait to see the full details, this in-principle agreement is great news for the Australian wine industry, and British consumers and retailers.
“Liberalised trade is good for consumers, economies and businesses across the world, and it creates more investment across the supply chain which, in turn, provides more jobs and supports the economy. For most Australian wine producers, tariffs elimination on entry into force will mean approximately eight pence to 26 pence per litre in tariffs will no longer apply to Australian wine exported to the UK.
“As a wine company with brands of significant heritage and over 830 employees in Australia, we are committed to the growth of the Australian wine industry in all the markets in which we operate. We work closely with our winemakers, growers, partners, and the collective industry to advocate for the entire grape and wine sector at home and overseas, and it is great to see efforts by the Australian Government to remove trade barriers in a number of overseas markets, including the UK.”
Australia and the UK are now working on finalising the text and details in the agreement, ahead of carrying out domestic processes to get the FTA approved.