Just a brief note on the results of last weeks duty survey. It is explained later what the next steps will be.
This survey was conducted to gauge:
a) the strength of feeling/importance of this as an issue to UKVA Members
b) some thoughts about how the membership think we should proceed on this matter.
c) comments and ideas on how we might proceed.
Far from definitive it does give us a snapshot and is the first survey done in recent years, if ever, by the UKVA on this issue.
The Chairman has indicated that he wants to convene a sub group/working party to look into the matter and this survey provides a basis for that group to convene.
101 individual participants took part in the survey. The vast majority of which were in the first three categories up to 5 hectares, numbering 77 individuals, broadly termed small to medium. Of those in the larger category (broadly termed larger medium to large) there were 24 respondents. How I calculated the results of hectarage: 1-2 hectare category calculated as multiple of 1.5ha per respondent for e.g. and 1 hectare or less is 1 and 15 hectares or more is 15.
On that basis those in the small to medium category total an average of 162 hectares of land area. And respondents from those of 5 plus hectares totalled 262.5 hectares.
Views of the duty issue are somewhat different on the basis of size of operation.
Table: numbers of respondents by Hectares.
Tables and chart of responses to specific questions:
[Options in bar chart above read:
Small producer exemption: like UK cider to 10,000blts (litres was my mistake – should be 10,000 75clt bottles).
Small producer relief: tapered relief like beer industry
Across the board duty reduction: (WSTA option)
Keep the duty as is and negotiate for in-kind support.]
The overwhelming majority of smaller producers, with few exceptions went for either option 2 or 1, in that order. The majority of larger to medium (5 hectares upwards) supported the last two options. A similar correlation is found to the question of importance, with the vast majority of small producers voting this as being a critical industry issue.
Overall, however it is clear from the vast majority of views expressed that something needs to be done – it just the approach that differs. Only about 4% said this is not an issue for the UKVA to pursue. The driver is the belief that this issue for smaller vineyards is a matter of commercial sustainability. This is less of a driver, where duty is concerned, for larger producers. For the larger producers there is a recognition that a duty cut across the board is supportable, even desirable, or that there should be in-kind support for the industry from government.
There were 47 comments, which provided a number of approaches and thoughts and will be summarised in a later analysis.
This is only a summary. There will be a fuller report and analysis on the website in due course, including of members comments submitted later by email.
The Management Committee, myself and the Chairman Peter Gladwin, will meet on Monday to discuss and report back an approach on behalf of the industry.