LWF looks to reward independent buyers

The organisers of the London Wine Fair have launched a competition for the UK wine trade: the Wine Buyers Awards. 

The Independent Retailer Buyer category will be run in partnership with The Wine Merchant and judges will include two of the industry’s biggest names, including Ruth Yates, who founded Corks Out in 2003, and was formerly a buyer at Greenalls and The Warehouse Wine Company; and Alistair Marshall, former buyer for Adnams.

The London Wine Fair will also host The Wine Buyers Conference, a new initiative which will take place immediately prior to the awards, at Olympia on Tuesday, May 19.  The conference will be aimed at the next generation of senior buyers and will be designed to inspire and guide those embarking on a buying role. 

Those wishing to enter can do so via www.winebuyersawards.co.uk. The deadline is January 20 and the initial round of judging will take place in February. 

LWF chief Hannah Tovey says: “2020 will see The Fair celebrate its 40th anniversary, a milestone which we wanted to mark by recognising those wine professionals whose daily decisions actually shape the UK’s wine industry – the buyers. 

“Launching what will become an annual award is a great reason to celebrate the wine industry at large and reward those key players who excel in creating trends and adding value and innovation to the UK’s wine lists and shelves. 

“The indie sector has arguably never been stronger.  In recent years there has been a proliferation of cool new independent wine shops, focused on innovative, hard-to-find wines coupled with a great shopping experience. We look forward to rewarding the best independent retail wine buyers and inspiring the next generation.”

The 2020 London Wine Fair will take place at Olympia from May 18-20.