|Richard Siddle: comment, July 27, why Accolade and Treasury Wine Estates partnership should be applauded|
|Written by Richard Siddle|
|Friday, 27 July 2012 10:21|
Hatch Mansfield's Mark Calver has described the recent goings on in the trade as being a bit like the "Wild West" with businesses ripping up traditional trading routes and ways of working in a bid to find their own vital niche in the market.
In the last week we have seen two of the biggest names in wine, Accolade and Treasury Wine Estates, take the unprecedented step of agreeing to work together on packing each others wine in different parts of the world. Accolade will bottle Treasury wine here in the UK, whilst Treasury will return in the favour in Australia. Has the wine trade seen collaboration on this scale before?
Accolade estimates the move will see it increase its bottling activity in the UK by as much as 30%.
The deal is so significant in that it marks the realisation by two of our biggest wine companies that to survive in the economics of global wine distribution, collaboration of this scale is the way forward.
Accolade's chief executive Troy Christensen described the deal as a "paradigm for the industry" but necessary because "we are in the business of producing wine and getting it to consumers".
But as Christensen goes on: "Just as we do not own all our own vineyards, or all our own trucks, we don't have to own every piece of equipment that helps us get wine to the consumers' glass."
The move may be a breakthrough in the wine trade, but such collaborative measures are quite common between major food manufacturers in the FMCG sector. In fact there is a whole pan-European trading initiative, ECR Europe, that has taken many millions out of the supply chain of the leading food and drink manufacturers and their major multinational retail customers through similiar collaborative measures.
For too long there has been much talk of consolidation and joint working initiatives in the wine and spirits trade with very little action. But as the economic pressures of global wine distribution, in particular, intensify finding innovative ways that major businesses, even competitors, can work together to drive down costs, improve efficiencies and push increased margins through the trade can only be of benefit to us all - and ultimately driving genuine added value to the consumer.
Let's hope the Accolade and Treasury partnership is the first of many more similar collaborative steps across the trade in the future.