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WSTA, The Drinks Trust and WSET launch funding appeal for first stage of drinks industry EDI initiative

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Panellists at the seminar which was facilitated by Lulie Halstead, Director, IWSR.
Left to right; Lorraine Copes, Founder & CEO, Be Inclusive Hospitality; Sofia Gassne, Head of HR, Hawksmoor, Gary Keller, Wine & Drink Expertise, Molson Coors; Queena Wong, Founder, Curious Vines.

Following its seminar at London Wine Fair, ‘Creating change: Improving safeguarding and equity in the drinks industry’, an industry initiative spearheaded by the WSTA, The Drinks Trust and WSET, to create an inclusive and equitable UK drinks industry, announced an appeal for funding to support the initiative in its early stages.

Miles Beale, CEO, WSTA said, ‘What we are collectively trying to do is to create an accountable drinks industry that is equitable, diverse, inclusive and safe. We will shortly appoint an expert Advisory Council to guide the Programme Board and to support the right direction of travel for our shared initiative. Council members will be vital to offering support, expertise and urgency, as well as representing communities across the drinks industry.’

Speakers at the seminar were vocal in their support and need for the initiative. Sofia Gassne, Head of HR, Hawksmoor urged the industry to, ‘wake up and take responsibility to make the industry a better place to work’.

This was echoed by Lorraine Copes, Found & CEO, Be Inclusive Hospitality who said, ‘You all have power, and you all have influence and if you chose to do nothing you are complicit with the problem that you are trying to address.’

Gary Keller, Wine & Drinks Expertise, Molson Coors spoke about being able to be your ‘authentic self’ in the workplace and how the industry needed to strive to be inclusive for all.

Queena Wong, Founder, Curious Vines spoke passionately about the need for male leaders to come on board with helping create a safer working space, ‘things are changing and we need to make leaders look forward to the future and change things for the next generation; we all need to be authentic in our commitment to EDI.’

Beale added, ‘We are now at the stage where we are ready to address the industry and appeal for funding to make sure that we can resource our efforts fully and deliver the first stage of the programme.’

To register your interest in donating funding to the programme please contact