How to sell more wine to the UK, cheaper

The Australian and New Zealand wine industries could make environmental and cost savings by taking part in a new international project, GlassRite Wine. With specialist support based in Sydney, both industries can access valuable advice on increasing bulk wine sales to the UK and using lighter weight glass bottles with a higher recycled content.
As the global trend towards bulk wine exportation and the use of lighter weight bottles continues to grow, a ground-breaking cross-industry project led by UK government-funded WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) is seeking partners from Australia and New Zealand who are involved in supplying wine to the UK to take part in this new global initiative. The project has already achieved considerable cost and environmental benefits across the UK market.
With the UK currently representing the largest export market for both Australian and New Zealand-produced wine, accounting for 36% and 33% of total exports respectively, it is becoming increasingly important for the wine industry to respond to UK trends and market drivers. Bulk exportation and the use of lighter weight bottles has already enabled growers, bottle manufacturers and fillers, agents, brand owners and retailers to significantly reduce transportation costs, achieve CO2 reductions and effectively position themselves in the competitive UK market. For instance, bulk exportation can double the amount of wine shipped in a standard container – reducing CO2 emissions and costs by up to 40%. It also allows the supply chain to specify and use the UK’s widely-available supply of green recycled glass in its bottles.
Participants will be able to draw on the invaluable experiences gained from the first phase of the project, which saw industry leaders in the UK, such as the UK’s largest retailer Tesco, Constellation Europe and Fosters EMEA, increasing bulk importation and the use of lighter weight bottles. This pioneering activity has diverted 11,500 tonnes of glass from the UK waste stream due to light-weighting initiatives. It has also resulted in an additional 80 million glass bottles of wine being filled in the UK – which in turn has increased the use of recycled green glass.
Nicola Jenkin, Beverages Category Manager at WRAP, commented: “This pioneering project offers companies involved in exporting to the UK an excellent opportunity to pull together and benefit from material, supply chain and commercial savings – and respond to UK consumer pressure to reduce packaging. The Australian wine industry has already taken steps to reduce its environmental impact, with leading Australian wine brand Wolf Blass by Fosters having already undertaken bulk importation and the use of lighter weight bottles. We are now keen to hear from others who wish to grasp this opportunity and get involved.”
The project’s steering group will be chaired by Sally Easton MW, a respected industry expert and commentator, who says: "The wine industry has been enormously proactive over the past few years, exploring ways to reduce the environmental impact of international trading, and wines with an environmental and ethical message are performing increasingly well. This pioneering initiative now offers companies an opportunity to play a part in developing global best practice – pulling together to achieve real change.”
Australian and New Zealand businesses that are interested in taking part or would like to find out more should contact Cameron Tonkin at WSP Environmental in Sydney on +61 28925 6700 or email
About GlassRite Wine
The aim of the international GlassRite Wine project is to increase the bulk importation of wine into the UK by an additional 85 million bottles of wine per year, and reduce the total glass wine bottle weight by 30,000 tonnes.
Other key project outcomes will include:
–           Encouraging the increased use of recycled content in UK manufactured glass bottles
–           Trialling and producing a 300g wine bottle for the wine industry to use
–           Investigating the light-weighting of champagne and sparkling wine bottles
More information is available at

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