WineGB welcomes new team members - Fruit & Vine

WineGB welcomes new team members

The national association for the English and Welsh wine industry, WineGB, has recently announced the expansion of its team. 

The move aims to reshape the team to have a stronger focus on building the reputation and prominence of the industry. It is expected to better influence the external environment, especially within Whitehall. 

New faces welcomed at WineGB

Vincent McGovern has been appointed interim policy director. Mr McGovern is an experienced policy professional. He also has extensive experience within the alcohol industry, including most recently at Spirits Europe and previously at Drinks Ireland.  

He will build a policy function for WineGB, ensuring visibility of the political environment, responding to opportunities, and developing the intellectual base to support the association’s asks of the government. 

He will be instrumental in developing a number of reports and WineGB’s manifesto for growth over his nine-month contract. 

The national association for the English and Welsh wine industry, WineGB, has recently announced the expansion of its executive team. 

Emma Rix became the association’s new sustainability executive. She joins Wine GB from the security industry, where she was an environment, social, and governance specialist.  

Her experience includes leading ED&I initiatives, driving efforts to achieve net zero, and specialising in guiding small, mission-led businesses through certification processes, including for B-Corp.  

Ms Rix will support members in engaging with the Sustainable Wines of Great Britian (SWGB) certification process. As a qualified ISO auditor, she will audit the programme and create tool kits and educational support. This will ensure that producers who want to be more sustainable have support through simple, credible, and valuable steps. 

Phoebe French has been appointed Wine GB’s new communications manager. Ms French initially joined WineGB  as membership coordinator and SWGB scheme manager in 2021. Then she became the membership engagement manager in 2022.  

She has been responsible for internal communications, external funding, website management, and supervision of research and development work. 

Sadly, WineGB is saying goodbye to its head of marketing, Julia Trustram Eve. She is widely recognised and respected for having supported and shaped the sector whilst building the brand reputation of the English and Welsh wine industry. This includes the initiation of English Wine Week, a go-to for press and UK trade, which gets stronger recognition each year.

Exciting times for the sector

Nicola Bates, CEO of WineGB, said: “This is an exciting time for the sector, and the growth of the team are essential changes that will allow us to advance our support. It is essential that we support our members at all levels, and these changes will ensure that we can best shape the market for English and Welsh wine, allowing everyone to sell more.  

“I would like to give a personal thanks to Julia Trustram Eve, who throughout much of her wine trade career has been dedicated to building the sector. We are in no small part a success due to her hard work.” 

Nicola Bates, CEO of WineGB.

Julian Barnes, former member and chairman of English Wine Producers, which merged with the UK Vineyards Association to become WineGB in 2017, added: “30 years ago, the English and Welsh wine industry was a little less known and far less visible.  

“Having worked alongside Julia, we owe her more than a vote of thanks for her consistent and persistent marketing and promotion of the sector.  

“From the early 90s, Julia has been the most embracing person any organisation could wish to have, every meeting, every event, brand ambassador, membership co-ordinator, always on point, well-polished and always smiling.” 

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