Government Hospitality: Wines

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 8th January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Jopling Lord Jopling Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 19 December (HL12075), whether they will now answer the question put namely, in relation to the annual report for the Government's hospitality wine cellar, what saving they estimate might be made by substituting English and Welsh wines with comparable wines from elsewhere.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

​We do not hold details of the exact savings which might be made by substituting English and Welsh wines with comparable wines from elsewhere. This would be very much dependent on the alternative comparable wines available at the time, the types of functions we were looking to use them for and the volume in which we were looking to procure them – potential economies of scale etc. However, as detailed in the Wine Cellar Annual Report, we estimate that in 2017/18 English and Welsh wine made up 57% of all Wine Cellar wine consumed in 2017/2018. The average cost of each bottle of English/Welsh wine used was around £12.96. Whereas, the overall average price of each bottle used from other countries in the same period was £12.82. However, as already mentioned the cellar has been, and continues to be, a firm supporter of the UK wine industry in line with wider Government objectives to support British business and produce. Consequently, whilst English and Welsh wines might be more expensive than some alternatives from elsewhere, the differential is sufficiently small that we believe that this still represents good value for money in the proper expenditure of taxpayers' money.

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