Ross Carter started his new role on Monday, January 7, after James Murray left just before Christmas.
And in his first interview since taking over, Carter told OLN: “In my previous role as a buyer, I attended all three days of LIWF, visiting existing suppliers, introducing them to end clients and sourcing new wines.
“The LIWF has never suffered for visitors – these have steadily increased over the years and have remained buoyant.
“The sheer scale of the event means that the opportunity for discovery is unparalleled. Couple this with the seminars, tastings, debates, masterclasses and dozens of other events taking place at LIWF, and it’s still a very good use of time.”
Carter lived in France and Spain for 16 years and has travelled the New World producing countries extensively.
He was formerly international sales manager at LIFW, before he left to become a winemaker’s assistant on a New Zealand vineyard. In 2011, he became a buyer at PLB.
He said: “I enjoyed my time working on the fair previously, and it was only because the opportunity to travel extensively cropped up that I left Brintex. Now I've spent a few years away, including time in wineries and as a buyer, I'm ready to step into the role with far wider experience.
“Until last Friday I was part of a commercial team at PLB helping to source wines from around the world for branded, own label and merchant label opportunities in retail – multiple and independent – and the on-trade, both bottled at source and bulk, so I'm aware of the challenges our exhibitors face and the wines our visitors are looking to source.
“At the 2012 LIWF I found a Pidedmontese producer that are now supplying wines into UK wholesale, so I know first-hand that the Fair can deliver.
“Bringing the show back to its roots and trying to heighten its appeal to the UK trade in particular are key to developing the event once more.”
When asked if he favours the fair returning to Olympia in 2014, he said: “I can see both sides of the argument. It's important though that we listen closely to our exhibitors and visitors to reach the best decision for all.”