2016 FIVS Global Trade Policy Conference Looks Into the Future

Brussels, 20 April 2016 - Environmental sustainability, social responsibility, trade facilitation and consumer matters were the topics covered in a three-day conference of FIVS, with attendance from six of the seven continents and all segments of the alcohol beverage industry.

The FIVS Spring Conference was held at the Royal Windsor Hotel in Brussels, Belgium. Policy oriented discussions were led by representatives from Argentina, Australia, Chile, the European Commission, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), New Zealand, South Africa and the United States of America.

FIVS President Greg Hodson summarised the results of the event by remarking, “I know of no other forum where all segments of the industry come together to discuss the trading climate the industry is likely to face over the next 3-5 years, and then make plans to be responsible actors within that evolving situation.”

For the first time, the sessions were held primarily in a discussion format, covering the spectrum of international public policy challenges facing the sector. Notable topics included:

  • Sharing environmental sustainability best practices among stakeholders,
  • Promoting the efforts by industry in being a responsible actor and
  • Supporting sound initiatives to foster trade.

“The dialogue this year was especially robust. With so many talented attendees, a more conventional lecture format would have denied us the benefit of the great expertise in the room,” observed Jonathan Breach, Head of Regulatory Affairs at Australia’s Accolade Wines.

At the opening of the conference, President Hodson stressed that FIVS decided to move ahead with holding its meetings in Brussels in support of the Belgian people and despite the recent terrorist incident. During the course of the conference, President Hodson bestowed the first-ever Jim Finkle Award on Steve Guy of Wine Australia. This award, named after the long-time FIVS President, was created to recognise those whose work in the sector demonstrates the values that Jim stamped on FIVS: communication, collaboration, consensus and commitment.

At the FIVS General Assembly, FIVS members elected Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, Secretary General of the Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV), as an incoming Vice-President, Kurt Moore of the South African Liquor Brand Owners Association (SALBA) as Assistant Treasurer and Joe Lynch of the Irish industry as Member Emeritus of the Presidential Council.


Note to editors: 

A Paris-based, non-governmental organisation founded in 1951, FIVS is an association serving members of the wine, spirits and beer industries. It has approximately 50 members from more than 25 countries and includes producers, distributors, importers, exporters, and trade associations.