|New Zealand pulls out of LIWF|
|Written by Gemma McKenna, from Prowein in Dusseldorf|
|Tuesday, 06 March 2012 16:39|
New Zealand Winegrowers has pulled out of London International Wine Fair - but organisers insist it is no reflection of how Kiwi wines are performing in the UK.
David Cox, European director at New Zealand Winegrowers said producers were finding it too difficult to justify the investment.
But Cox didn't rule out a return to the show in 2013: "At this point it's a one-year break."
He said he was hoping that fair organisers Brintex could recruit the "right people" to attend the show, then producers would be keener to make the investment.
Last year Cox booked stand space for 25 producers, but in the end only 11 took a space.
"That was really hard to take on the chin," he said. But he was keen to point out there is "no question" that absence from LIWF was a sign of "stagnation or taking the foot off the pedal in the UK" to focus on other markets.
The latest Nielsen statistics show that New Zealand wines grew 4% year on year to the end of December, and up 9% in value.
Brent Marris, proprietor and winemaker at New Zealand's Marisco Vineyards, which makes the Ned wines, said he was "disappointed" that the generic body would not have a stand. But he added that he understood that "if there's not enough support you can't put a stand up." He said that while Prowein was a good show, it's "different" and "couldn't replace London".