|De Bortoli is latest big name to join Harpers Best Practice Guidelines for independents|
|Written by Richard Siddle|
|Tuesday, 03 July 2012 19:46|
De Bortoli Wines is the latest major supplier to sign up to the Harpers Best Practice Guidelines for independent wine merchants designed to bring greater channel transparency to the wine industry's fastest growing retail sector.
The guidelines, which were introduced at the end of last year after months of cross industry consultation, have now attracted many of the independent sector's biggest suppliers who have each pledged to sign up and follow the seven key principles laid down in the guidelines.
The initiative came about following a series of seminars held as part of the Harpers Top Merchants programme where a number of independent specialist wine retailers complained about what they felt was unfair treatment at the hands of some suppliers – when wines they believed were destined exclusively for the independent sector ended up on sale, at lower prices, through multiple channels.
Open discussions between leading suppliers and merchants, including Jamie Hutchinson at The Sampler, Hal Wilson of Cambridge Wine Merchants and Ted Sandbach at the Oxford Wine Company, as well as Hatch Mansfield, PLB, Grupo Codorníu UK, Mentzendorff, Les Caves de Pyrene and Raymond Reynolds, resulted in the guidelines being approved through national consultation programme.
Who has signed up so far?
1 Suppliers that want to publicly endorse the Harpers’ Merchants Best Practice Guidelines should commit themselves to these principles and conduct a transparent relationship with their customers in the independent sector.
2 That these suppliers commit to a transparent independent merchant strategy which makes clear which channels of distribution they are trading in. This should be made available on request to individual wine merchants.
3 Independent merchants can request information from these suppliers on an individual basis about which channel of distribution the wines and spirits they are interested in stocking are distributed in.
4 Sales representatives of these suppliers must be made aware of their distribution strategy covering independent wine merchants.
5 These suppliers should, on request from an independent wine merchant, be able to set out how this strategy is managed within their company and understood by their own sales staff.
6 That training and information is being provided on these suppliers’ distribution management strategy to sales staff
7 That these suppliers should inform affected independent merchants if the distribution management strategy for a particular wine or spirit changes.