Online resource highlights wine trade’s BAME talent

An online resource has been launched to highlight wine professionals in the UK who are Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic.

BAME Wine Professionals has been created by Mags Janjo, a certified Wine & Spirit Education Trust educator and senior account manager at Roberson Wine, and writer and broadcaster Jancis Robinson MW.

The website, bamewineprofessionals.co.uk, will list those working in sales, retail, hospitality, marketing, PR, wholesale, winemaking, buying, logistics and wine education with the aim of providing exposure, celebrating their talents and generally raising their profile so that they are considered when it comes to recruitment opportunities, industry events and invitation lists.

In a diversity study carried out by Gus Gluck, co-founder of GB Wine Shippers, and Holly Plumeridge, off-trade sales manager at Alliance Wine, 86% of those taking part identified as white and 45% worked in an organisation where there were one or no people from a BAME background.

It suggested that individuals in the wine trade are more likely to suffer discrimination at work (36%) than in their daily life (28%).

Janjo said: “For me, ethnic diversity in the wine industry has been an uncomfortable and much-avoided topic.

“Fortunately, the wine industry and society as a whole are now giving this the spotlight it deserves.

“My goal at BAME Wine Professionals is to unearth, celebrate and promote BAME talent in the wine industry.

“I strongly believe the industry will be richer and better for more diversity.”

Robinson added: “I feel strongly that BAME individuals should be better represented, celebrated and publicised in the UK wine trade and our new project aims to encourage those in a position to do so to seek out talent, and provide opportunities within communities that could well provide the wine drinkers of the future.

“There will of course be running costs involved in maintaining this not-for-profit initiative.

“Mags and I would be thrilled if the wider wine trade would consider supporting it with donations, however small, and offers of sponsorships and mentorships.”

The project already has the support of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, Sukhinder Singh of Speciality Drinks Group, Ian Harris of the WSET, Ayo Akintola of Oddbins, Regine Lee MW of Liberty Wines and Women in Wine LDN, and Michael Saunders, chief executive of Bibendum and chairman of The Drinks Trust and the WSTA. 

The site contains links to some of the many initiatives on both sides of the Atlantic that have sprung up recently with the aim of making the wine trade more inclusive and diverse, including Drinklusive and BAME in Hospitality in the UK and Wine Unify and Black Wine Professionals in the US.

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