Wineries, importers and retailers should guard against further duty rises by telling consumers how much tax they are paying on bottles of wine, a leading supplier says.
Greg Wilkins, director of New World wine supplier Brand Phoenix, said the wine sector should look to fuel lobbyists as an example of how to halt tax rises by recruiting consumers.
His comments came during this week’s London International Wine Fair, at a seminar hosted by Wine Intelligence and the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).
Chancellor Alistair Darling stung wine firms in March by announcing an extra 14p on bottles of wine and 18p on sparkling wine. He added 55p to bottles of spirits.
“At our peril do we allow the government to get away with that without telling the consumer how much tax they are paying in this country,” said Wilkins. He added the wine industry should not allow itself to become the “whipping boys over the next five years”.
WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles said the industry had begun reaching out to consumers.
The body is funding the launch of www.responsibledrinkersalliance.co.uk, a consumer website to encourage the public to participate in discussions and ensure their opinions are taken into consideration by politicians.