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WSET and IOH announce partnership for joint management of Academy of Food & Wine Service

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We are delighted to announce the signing of an agreement with the Institute of Hospitality (IOH) to jointly manage the Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS) from Monday 23 September 2019.

Set up in 1988, the Academy of Food & Wine Service, is the professional body for front-of-house food and beverage service in the UK hospitality industry and has been managed by the Institute of Hospitality since 2017.

Within the new partnership, WSET will manage the beverage and sommelier-related elements of the AFWS, while IOH will continue to manage all activities related to restaurant management and food service. The agreement allows the IOH to focus on its core strengths in providing a compelling membership package to hospitality managers throughout the UK and globally, while WSET’s 50 years of experience in supporting the wider hospitality industry with best-in-class wines, spirits and sake qualifications will enhance the Academy’s existing activities.

Commenting for WSET, Graham Cox, UK Business Development Director, says:
"There is a real synergy between the activities of WSET and AFWS so taking ownership of the beverage/sommelier side of the academy is a great strategic fit for us. We will be able to add enormous value to the sommelier community here in the UK and globally via the Academy’s membership of the Association Sommellerie Internationale (ASI). I am confident that reinvigorating AFWS together with closer collaboration between WSET and IOH will benefit the wider UK hospitality industry going forward."

Commenting for IOH, Peter Ducker, Chief Executive, says:
"This alliance strengthens the AFWS brand as each organisation plays to their strengths. The result will be to enable AFWS to become the go-to organisation for skills development and thought leadership, and through competitions they will recognise the best of the best and inspire others to excel. IOH and WSET are leaders in their fields so this new alliance is exciting and ground-breaking."

The Academy, under the guidance of sommelier Nicolas Clerc MS, will continue to organise the UK Restaurant Manager of the Year competition led by John Cousins and work in partnership with The Caterer on the UK Sommelier of the Year competition.