Sellers spending millions to stockpile European wines

Businesses have said they are being forced to stockpile wine from Italy, France and Spain thanks to EU red tape.

Adnams, the Suffolk-based brewer, revealed it was handling more paperwork, increasing bottle prices between 13p to 20p.

“We’re paying more, and it’s taking longer for us to get wine in from around the world and Europe,” chief executive Andy Wood told the Daily Telegraph.

“That means we’re having to stock more, so that means we’re having to fund more stock in the system.”

READ MORE: Naked Wines reports £10m loss after heavy investment

Wood hoped the issues would be sorted out by the end of the year.

“I wouldn’t want to be going into Christmas and the demand we have at that time of the year with these difficulties,” he said.

However, he stressed that Adnams would adapt to any challenges.

Sales slipped by a third in 2020 as the company was hit by lockdown closures.

Problems at the border have also rocked Majestic Wine, which said it has faced “some issues with supply from Europe, particularly with the movement of freight from some key regions”.

It continued: “Whilst our availability currently remains good, we are planning ahead by bringing in an extra £10 million of stock now – ahead of the crucial festive period. 

“We are confident this will mean, at Majestic at least, our shelves will remain full.”

In the first three months of 2021, imports of food and drink from the EU were down 16 per cent year-on-year.

The government swerved to avoid further misery for wine sellers last month by ditching its plans for EU import certificates.

Sources indicate the paperwork would have raised prices by between 10p and 13p a bottle.

Imported wines would have needed laboratory analysis, costing an estimated £330 a shipment.

Wine and Spirit Trade Association head Miles Beale hailed a “major win for wine lovers and the UK wine industry”.

“I am sure corks will be popping across the globe in celebration of this most welcome news,” he said.

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