Opinion: The World of Wines, Social Conscience, and Hypocrisy

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Drinks: Uncategorized
Other: Business, Opinion

I’m so angry at my self right now. Why? Because it’s taken until now for me to realise that I and my beloved wine industry have been missing something very important. I hope it’s just an oversight as galling as even that might be. Because otherwise we are deliberately turning a blind eye for the sake of monetary gain.

I mean for years the wine industry has been at the forefront of of embracing ways to improve the way we treat the enviroment. Embracing Organic and Bio dynamic farming and wine making methods. Looking at decreasing our carbon footprint by making lighter bottles and encouraging recycling of bottles and corks. The industry does this for the sake of our planet, for the sake of our brother man.

So tell me. Why are we embracing the new exciting growth market of China? A country that regularly abuses the human rights of it’s citizens and still holds a tyranical grip on Tibet.

I have not heard one word of dissent from within our industry on this. Yes I know our countries do business with China in other forums all the time. But I have never been one for justifying my actions by pointing out the failure of other’s actions. Two wrongs do not make a right.

The average wage in China is £8,674.40. So when I read a post like this  “For us, China is taking larger volumes and paying higher prices than any sales we have ever made to the UK. Added to this the timezone is the same and they don’t complain about the exchange rate. In FY13 our Chinese business will be the largest single market, even bigger than Australia.” I wonder what demographic are buying the wines in China and do the wine producers care?

I care. As much as I want the gospel according to wine to spread arround the world I also want a world  that doesn’t tolerate oppresive regimes, torture and human rights abuses. What does all the other noble stuff the wine industry has done count for if it ignores such attrocities?

P.s. I make no apologies for the image used.

About Author

Mark Deamer

A first job as a sommelier at Maggiore's restaurant paved the way for a glittering career for Mark Deamer, who has now been involved with the wine and spirits world for 20 years. From there he went on to become an Executive Sommelier at two award winning gastropub chains, and now he's venturing into the world of consultancy. The less eloquent might say he has a gob he finds hard to keep shut. He would say it's because he speaks with a passion that is heartfelt. Hopefully with some wit and interest too.

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