WSTA Events

The WSTA has the largest and broadest membership base of any trade association in our sector; multi-channel, multi-category, national and international, start-ups through to global brands.

WSTA Industry Summit 2020

»Date: 15th September 2020, 11:00 am - 17th September 2020, 4:30 pm

»Venue: Digital Conference

»Open to: Trade and press, non-members welcome

»Who should attend: Everyone! This is a “big-picture-thinking” event where topics and discussion will provide insights into the future of the industry and aims to spur fresh ideas for our audience members

Sponsored by

Beyond the Foreseeable


For the this year’s digital programme, including the full speaker line-up and session information, please click here


An opportunity for businesses to come together to discuss key industry topics and find the “blue-sky-thinking” space they need!


Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve been uncertain if we would be able to return to the British Library to host the WSTA Industry Summit this year. With the health and wellbeing of our attendees of utmost concern, we took the decision in June not to return to the British Library and instead to host the full programme virtually!

But moving to a virtual platform is not the only change this year. Hosting this year’s Industry Summit virtually as a series of smaller events provided a fantastic opportunity for the WSTA to develop an agenda that caters for a broader range of Industry businesses and their interests.


We’ve also switched up the ticketing structure with an unburdensome, straightforward one-size-fits-all approach…


One ticket at £50+vat per member company

Or, one ticket at £150+vat per non-member company

= Unlimited number of attendees per company


This year’s speakers include:

Rooney Anand

Senior Independent Director of Morrisons plc, Chairman of private equity backed businesses Away Resorts and Purity Soft Drinks,  former CEO of Greene King.

Joy Spence

Master Blender, Appleton Estate

Lord (Chris) Holmes of Richmond MBE

Former Paralympian, co-chair of Parliamentary Groups on Assistive Technology, Fintech, Blockchain and the 4th Industrial Revolution

Alex Depledge MBE

Founder & CEO, Resi


Haven’t been to a WSTA Industry Summit before?


Obviously, this year will be different to previous years but if you haven’t yet attended a WSTA Industry Summit, this video from 2019 will help set the tone…


Not registered? Hit the ‘BuyTickets’ button above!

1. Check if your company already has an InSum ticket using the list under the “Companies Attending” tab.

2. If your company is not listed, purchase the WSTA member or non-member ticket through the booking link above.

3. Once the transaction is complete, you will receive two emails – an Eventbrite confirmation, including a tax invoice; and an email from containing registration information and template email.

4. Forward the registration email and information to all your employees, who will then able to access the Session booking page and register for each session.

5. Employees must register using a company email address for authentication purposes.

6. We will be releasing more details about each session and speakers over the next few weeks. Employees can manage their booking and register/ unregister from sessions via their unique registration link from Eventbrite.

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Returning Chair: Alex Forrest Whiting

Broadcaster, Conference Host & Media Trainer,

Alex will be hosting sessions 3, 4, & 5

Alex Forrest Whiting has reported and presented for major broadcasters around the world. A political correspondent and presenter for many years with ITV, Alex brings authority to all her work. With a track record that includes BBC World, Al Jazeera English and now Germany’s international broadcaster, DW, she has a deep knowledge of international affairs. She is currently DW’s Brexit Analyst as well as a reporter, mentor and media trainer.

Her work as presenter for Saxo TV expanded her expertise to financial and economic news. ITV Good Morning Britain, Huffington Post, The Spectator, RTE Radio and a range of publications have also benefitted from her analysis and insight. A major part of Alex’s work is as an event host, moderator and public speaker.

Returning Chair: Alex Forrest Whiting

Session 2 Chair & Speaker: Miles Beale

Chief Executive, WSTA

Miles joined the WSTA in 2012 from the Defra. He has overall responsibility for the Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s operations. Miles was previously Deputy Director for EU and International Agriculture Policy, including reform of the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy. He was previously Deputy Director for European and Global Issues at the Cabinet Office and spent much of his early career at the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Miles has worked across a broad range of public policy, including urban regeneration, drugs policy and social exclusion, and has been involved in significant negotiations at national and European level. He worked closely with senior Ministers in successive governments – including as private secretary to two Cabinet Ministers.

Session 2 Chair & Speaker: Miles Beale

Finale Chair: Joe Fattorini

Presenter & Writer

Joe is known around the world as “Obi Wine Kenobi”, the expert presenter on The Wine Show. For the last 20 years Joe has sold wine to restaurants, hotels, bars and celebrity weddings as one of the UK’s leading wine merchants. Today Joe guides 250 million viewers in 107 countries through The Wine Show, as well as wine lovers at sea as an ambassador to Celebrity Cruises.

Joe wrote the world’s first textbook on selling and marketing wine in restaurants. A book still used in universities over 20 years later. Never shy of controversy, he once wrote the ‘most complained about article’ ever published in Decanter Magazine.

Session 2: Russell Davies

Managing Director, Hillebrand

Russell Davies is the Managing Director UK and Ireland for Hillebrand the world’s leading logistic provider for the beer, wines and spirits industry. Within the UK and Ireland Hillebrand has offices in London, Southampton, Glasgow, Dublin and Dover employing approximately 200 dedicated employees providing a range of logistics services from bulk and cased wine import, to spirits exports and customs clearance services.

Prior to Hillebrand he served as the Senior Vice President Supply Chain and Managing Director Freight Services for GKN Driveline. Here he transformed the in-house 4PL for the inbound logistics for over 40 factories worldwide creating regional control towers, supporting the supply chain operations. Russell has over 25 years of experience in supply chain, logistics and warehouse automation working across sales, commercial and general management roles.

Russell believes that sustainable results can only be achieved by building the best teams and empowering them to make decisions.

Russell is a proud father to Hannah and Thomas, and husband to Tracy who shares his passion for running and now cycling.

Session 2: Lord (Chris) Holmes MBE

Former Paralympian, co-chair of Parliamentary Groups on Assistive Technology, Fintech, Blockchain and the 4th Industrial Revolution,

Chris is a passionate advocate for the potential of technology and the benefits of diversity and inclusion.

He is an active member of the House of Lords and has co-authored Select Committee Reports on Democracy and Digital Technologies [2020] and Intergenerational Fairness [2019], Artificial Intelligence [2018], Financial Exclusion [2017], Social Mobility [2016] and Digital Skills [2015]

Chris is co-chair of Parliamentary Groups on Assistive Technology, Fintech, Blockchain and the 4th Industrial Revolution and has published a report; “Distributed Ledger Technologies for Public Good: leadership, collaboration and innovation” calling on the Government to look at the challenges and opportunities of this technology for improving public services. A progress update was published in November 2018.

An ex-Paralympic swimmer, Chris won nine gold, five silvers and one bronze medal across four Games, including a record haul of six golds at Barcelona 1992.

Session 2: Jack Merrylees

Head of Communications and PR, Majestic

Jack Merrylees is Head of Communications and PR at Majestic, the UK’s largest specialist wine retailer. He has worked in a number of roles around Majestic over the last eight years after starting on the shop floor, and has extensive experience both in customer and supplier facing positions.

With 200 stores nationwide, plus two in France, Majestic employs over 1,000 highly trained colleagues and is well known in the UK for its great service, extensive range and market-leading services.

Now responsible for both the internal and external communications for the retailer, Jack’s role is to engage colleagues, suppliers, customers and the media with transformation of Majestic under its new owners and board – as well as providing up to date comms and insight for the current situation with COVID and Brexit. This encompasses working closely with the press, social media, industry leaders and critics – alongside the buying and marketing teams at Majestic.

Jack has also worked across the hospitality sector, has a degree in Medieval History and Archaeology and is currently studying for the Master of Wine qualification.

Session 3 Keynote: Rooney Anand

Senior Independent Director of Morrisons plc, Chairman, Away Resorts & Purity Soft Drinks, & Former CEO, Greene King

Rooney Anand is Chairman of private equity backed businesses Away Resorts and Purity Soft Drinks. He also serves as Senior Independent Director for Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc, and is Chairman of WorldSkills UK, the skills and apprenticeship Government backed charitable foundation. Prior to this, Rooney was a director at Greene King plc from August 2001 to May 2019. Initially, Managing Director of the brewing division, he was appointed Chief Executive in May 2005 and stepped down in May 2019. During his tenure as CEO at Greene King the enterprise value of the business grew threefold to just under £5bn and the market capitalisation grew fourfold to £2.7bn; the business was transformed from a regional pub brewer to the UK’s leading pub company. Before joining Greene King, Rooney built a career in the food industry at Sara Lee Bakery UK (the bakery subsidiary of the US owned Sara Lee Corporation) and prior to that, with United Biscuits Plc.


Rooney has an MBA from Aston Business School, where he majored in Corporate Finance and a BSc in Construction Management from Bristol Polytechnic. He is an Honorary Professor at Aston Business School and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Aston University in July 2016. He was named the Lloyds ‘UK Business Leader of the Year 2016. Rooney lives in Cambridge.

Session 4: Joy Spence

Master Blender, Appleton Estate

There can be only one woman to hold the title of “First Female Master Blender in the Spirits Industry,” and that woman is Appleton Estate’s Joy Spence. A never-tiring, unbelievably skilled and deeply passionate force of nature, Joy has served as Master Blender at Appleton Estate for nearly a quarter of a century, pouring her vast knowledge and perfectionism into every bottle of Jamaica’s most-celebrated rum Joy’s never-ceasing drive to acquire knowledge led her overseas to the University of Loughborough in London, where she was awarded a Master of Science degree. In doing so, Spence registered the highest final exams scores in the school’s lauded history (a record that still holds to this day).


Upon completion of her studies, Joy found her way back to Jamaica, landing a post in 1981 as the Chief Chemist for J. Wray & Nephew Ltd., the maker of Appleton Rum. With Master Blender Owen Tulloch’s retirement in 1997, Joy became Master Blender. During the last 23 years, Joy has created some of the finest, most highly awarded rums the world has ever seen, including Appleton Estate 8 Year Old Reserve and Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old.


Joy’s hard work and dedication, not only to Appleton Estate, but to the country of Jamaica and the global rum industry, earned her one of the highest Jamaican civilian commendations possible in 2017 – “Order of Distinction” Rank Commander – in addition to two honorary doctorate degrees, a Grand Dame Award for “Most Influential Female in the Spirits Industry” from Tales of the Cocktail, and being named one of Fortune Magazine’s “Most Influential Women in Food & Drink.” In 2018, Joy was the first female to receive the Jamaica Prime Minister Medal for Science and Technology. Joy’s amazing career is chronicled at the recently opened Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience at the Appleton Estate Distillery in St. Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica.

Session 5: Alex Depledge MBE

Founder & CEO, Resi

Alex Depledge MBE is the founder and CEO of Resi, former CEO of, a tech entrepreneur and business expert with a refreshing and decidedly accessible approach. Her achievements in building one of the most acclaimed start-ups to emerge from London’s Tech City have made her into one of the UK’s highest profile female entrepreneurs, having won a string of industry awards and recognition – including a place on the prestigious Debrett’s 500 Most Influential People List. In June 2016, she was awarded an MBE for services to the Sharing Economy.

As CEO of (a services platform for domestic cleaning), Alex was responsible for taking the business from inception to over £8m in turnover in under 2 years. Under Alex’s stewardship, expanded from its 3 original founders to over 70 people in 4 countries. Alex has since sold the company and has gone on start a new venture in architectural design and produced aimed at disrupting the sector and using technology to create accurate design packages.

Alex’s expert views, industry knowledge and strategic leadership has led to her appointment as chair of the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec – a UK wide community of tech start-ups) and founding board member of the government backed Sharing Economy UK trade body SEUK. A regular consultant to No 10 on the digital economy, enterprise and start-ups, Alex has most notably served as an advisor on the 2015 government commissioned independent review into the sharing economy.

Session 5: Steven Macatonia

Co-Founder, Union Hand-Roasted Coffee

Steven Macatonia is a co-founder of Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, a specialty roasting company launched in 2001 to supply exceptionally high-quality coffees to the developing coffee scene in the UK. Steven developed the initiative for ethical coffee sourcing described as Union Direct Trade; sustainable trading relationships are developed with coffee producers with the objective to improve livelihoods of farmers and their workers.

Steven has been an active participant in speciality coffee since 1994 whilst resident in California completing his Post-Doctoral research in biological science. He returned to the UK with Jeremy Torz, to established one of the first boutique micro-roasteries which was influential in changing face of the UK coffee scene. Steven is a trained Social Auditor, juror on Cup of Excellence, and formerly on the Board of Directors of World Coffee Research.

Session 5: Claire Strickett

Senior Planner & Author, adam&eveDDB

Claire Strickett is a senior strategist at ad agency adam&eveDDB, one of the world’s most highly-awarded creative agencies, where she works on brands including the AA and Virgin Media. She describes her role defining communications strategies to address business tasks.

She is also the co-author of Which Wine When, an everyday guide to what to drink with the food you love, which came out this August via Ebury Press. The book “…is for anyone who knows their sourdough from their sliced white but still finds themselves standing in the wine aisle making panicked decisions about what to drink based on special offers, a vague memory or a nice-looking label.” (, 2020)

Finale Guest: Melanie Jappy

CEO, TWS Creative

Melanie Jappy began her career as a commercial property lawyer before being seduced into television by her love of food and cooking over 20 years ago. Since then she’s worked with and discovered some of the best talent in the UK. From Raymond Blanc to Mel & Sue, her career has involved making television programmes for every major UK network including a decade at the BBC where she was BAFTA nominated for Heston Blumenthal: In Search of Perfection and received a Royal Television Society Award for her work on Who Do You Think You Are?


Melanie was invited to develop a television wine format by Infinity Creative Media Ltd in 2015 and so The Wine Show was born. The series in now its third season and distributed in over 100 countries worldwide. While continuing to develop and grow The Wine Show, Melanie is now working with Joe Fattorini to build TWS Creative, a new marketing, communications and content production business focussed on helping the wine world reach new audiences in innovative ways.

Finale Guest: John Moore

Co-Founder & Finance Director, Wolfcraig Distillery

John has over 25 years’ experience in financial services, the last 15 years of which has been focussed on advising successful start-up businesses to create credible business plans to make them “investment ready”.

In 2017 John was asked to put together a team to buy a majority shareholding in a new distillery. After 12 months work bringing together a first class management team and strategic plan for the business the deal fell through but the opportunity to create a new distillery, visitor centre and premium brand in the heart of Scotland remained compelling. The existing team agreed and Wolfcraig was born.

Companies below are attending this year’s Summit.
If your company is on the list, please email for your unique attendee registration link.

Not on the list? Purchase a company ticket using the link above to get access for you and your colleagues to the full 3-day agenda


Alpine Wines
Awin Barratt Siegel Wine Agencies
Accolade Wines
Australian Vintage
Berry Bros. & Rudd
Braid Logistics
Brighton Gin
Cassella Family Brands
Cellar Trends
Chase Distillery
Clark Foyster Wines
Compact Global
Concha y Toro
The Co-operative
Digby Wines
Direct Wines
The Drinks Trust
Edrington-Beam Suntory
E&J Gallo
Encirc Ltd
Enotria & Coe
Felix Solis
Guy Anderson Wines
Hatch Mansfield
Hayman Distillers
Hillebrand (headline sponsor)
Kingsland Drinks
Louis Latour
New Generation Wines
New Zealand Winegrowers
One Gin
Pol Roger
Reh Kendermann UK
Remy Cointreau
RT Wine Solutions
Seckford Agencies
The Wine Society
Treasury Wine Estates
Walker & Wodehouse
William Reed
Wine Australia
Wine Intelligence
WX Brands

The On Demand centre will be available from Friday 18 September until Friday 16 October. On Demand access is available to existing registered companies for free. Access can also be purchased through the “Buy Tickets” button above for those who did not register for the live sessions.


The password for access to the On Demand centre was sent to all registered attendees on Friday 18 September (from If you have misplaced the email or you did not receive it, please email for access.


Access the ON DEMAND Centre here (link live from 11am, 18 Sept)


Five things we learnt:

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