|Co-op's wine manager Paul Bastard departs|
|Written by Gemma McKenna|
|Wednesday, 15 August 2012 16:27|
The Co-operative’s long-standing wine development manager Paul Bastard is to leave the business on Friday, August 17.
Bastard, who has been with the Co-op for the past 19 years, was instrumental in developing the wine offer - especially when it came to Fairtrade wines.
Mike Osmond, commercial director for the Co-operative Food, said: “Paul Bastard, wine development manager, has decided to leave The Co-operative to explore other interests after 19 years within the Food business.
“Paul, who will be leaving the business later this month, has made a much-valued contribution to the development of The Co-operative’s wine range over the years and is well known within the wine industry, and I and the team wish him well,” he added.
Back in March, Harpers reported on the change in direction in the wine category at the Co-op, with suppliers saying it was taking a more aggressive approach to its wine range, and decreasing its reliance on own-labels and Fairtrade products. It also increased its usage of classic promotional mechanics, which hadn’t been employed much previously at the chain. At the time, sources said such changes could have a “demoralising effect on the staff”.
Just before the London International Wine Fair in May it emerged that the retailer’s wine buyers had been instructed not to attend wine fairs, buying trips or tastings as part of the move to focus on more commercial products.
At the time some suppliers told Harpers that the wine team were not happy with the directive, and felt it was “counter-productive”.
A Facebook page called "VoteforPB" has been set up, with the tagline "Keep Paul at Co-op, which has so far attracted 80 friends from the trade, including high profile figures such as Direct Wines Justin Howard-Sneyd; Tim Atkin MW; Charles Metcalfe; Master Sommerlier Ronan Sayburn; Angela Mount, ex-Somerfield buyer and director of yourfavouritewines.com and Paul Letheren, owner of Off-Piste Wines.