WSTA chief Jago pledges to meet Brexit challenges ‘head on’

Wine & Spirit Trade Association chairman Dan Jago has pledged that the organisation will meet “head on” the challenges posed to the industry by Brexit.

Jago said the vote to leave the EU had brought about “one of the toughest eras the wine and spirits trade has ever faced”.

Addressing the WSTA board for the first time as chairman, the Berry Bros & Rudd chief executive added that he aimed to grow the organisation's membership to give it more clout.

“Brexit is a monumental challenge for the trade, which is already having a potentially damaging impact on the industry,” he said.

“My focus is to ensure that the WSTA meets these challenges head on and that we are extremely vigilant in looking after the members' trade interests.

“It is incredibly important that the WSTA is in the best position to help guide government on how to protect the flow of trade, secure jobs and allow our sector to continue to grow.

“Brexit is a reality and we need to maximise every opportunity. I am confident that the WSTA team have the expertise and knowledge to steer the members through these uncharted waters.

“It is clear that in this time of uncertainty, standing side-by-side with industry partners to show government and the world we are united in our aims is key.

“I will be focusing on helping the team grow membership of the WSTA and making the association the lead voice for the alcohol industry.”

Before joining Berry Bros, Jago was group wine director for Tesco and is also a former joint managing director of Bibendum Wine. He has taken over the WSTA chair from Denis O’Flynn of Pernod Ricard UK.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale, said: “It is incredibly important to us that the person who steers our ship has extensive experience in the wine and spirit trade.

“Dan’s knowledge of the industry is encyclopaedic and just as importantly he has a great passion for the products which we represent.

“There are challenging and exciting times ahead and Dan has the drive to ensure we make the most of every opportunity.”