The sector is growing and so is the WineGB team

Following a review of the team structure to deliver our future WineGB strategy and plans, the following changes have been made to the executive team:

  • New role: Interim Policy Director – Vincent McGovern
  • New role: Industry Relations Lead – recruitment launches today
  • New role: Communications Manager – Phoebe French (former Membership Manager)
  • New hire: Sustainability Executive – Emma Rix
  • Leaving: Head of Marketing – Julia Trustram Eve

The move is a reshaping of the team to have a stronger focus on building the reputation and prominence of the industry to better influence the external environment, especially within Whitehall.

Vincent McGovern – Interim Policy Director
Vincent is a hugely experienced policy professional, with extensive experience within alcohol including most recently at Spirits Europe and previously Drinks Ireland. He will build a policy function for WineGB, ensuring that we have visibility of the political environment, respond to opportunities, and develop the intellectual base to support our asks of Government. He will be instrumental in developing a number of reports and our Manifesto for Growth over his 9-month contract.

Emma Rix – Sustainability Executive
Emma joins us from the security industry where she was the ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) Specialist. Her experience includes leading ED&I initiatives, driving efforts to achieve net zero and has specialised in guiding small, mission-led businesses through certification processes, including for B-Corp. Emma will support members to engage with the Sustainable Wines of Great Britian (SWGB) certification process. As a qualified ISO Auditor she will audit the programme and create tool kits and educational support to ensure that producers who want to be more sustainable have support through simple, credible, and valuable steps.

Phoebe French – Communications Manager
Phoebe joined WineGB in 2021 initially as Membership Coordinator and SWGB Scheme Manager before becoming the Membership Engagement Manager in 2022. She has been responsible for internal communications, external funding, website management, and supervision of research and development work. The Communications Manager role is a 360-degree communications role, building on her membership engagement work to take responsibility for more external activities and material creation to support our media relations, social media, and our website.

Sadly, we will be saying goodbye to Julia Trustram Eve, Head of Marketing, on 22nd March. She is widely recognised and respected for having supported and shaped the sector and building the brand reputation of the English and Welsh wine industry – including the initiation of English Wine Week, a go to for press and UK trade, which gets stronger recognition each year. We wish her all the very best in her next ventures and intend to find a time later in the year to bring the English and Welsh wine sector together to celebrate her many years working in the industry.

Launching today is the recruitment for the Industry Relations Lead. This is a new role and integral to building the resilience of WineGB. They will grow the funding for the association from new members, industry supporters, and to a lesser degree public funding. The role will also identify new routes to market for members, working to promote our campaigns that drive sales. If you are interested in finding out more, the details are here.

Nicola Bates, CEO of WineGB, the trade association for English and Welsh wines, said:
“This is an exciting time for the sector and the growth of the team are essential changes that will allow us to advance our support. It is essential that we support our members at all levels, and these changes will ensure that we can best shape the market for English and Welsh wine, allowing everyone to sell more.

“A warm welcome to Vincent McGovern and Emma Rix. Thanks and congratulations to Phoebe French for her move to Communications Manager. If you are reading this comment perhaps you could be our next Industry Relations Lead.

“I would like to give a personal thanks to Julia Trustram Eve who throughout much of her wine trade career has been dedicated to building the sector. We are in no small part a success due to her hard work.”

Sam Linter, Chair of WineGB, said:
“I have had the pleasure to know Julia over the years in which she has helped to build the profile of WineGB, and before that English Wine Producers. She has shaped the perception of the industry and been a fundamental part of building our reputation. She should be rightly proud of her considerable achievements during a career promoting English and Welsh wines.”

Julian Barnes, former member and Chairman of English Wine Producers (which merged with UK Vineyards Association becoming WineGB in 2017), said:
“30 years ago, the English and Welsh wine industry was a little less known and far less visible. Having worked alongside Julia, we owe her more than a vote of thanks for her consistent and persistent marketing and promotion of the sector. From the early 90s, Julia has been the most embracing person any organisation could wish to have, every meeting, every event, brand ambassador, membership co-ordinator, always on point, well-polished and always smiling. Julia, we look forward to celebrating your achievements together.”

Julia adds:
“I am so proud to have been part of an industry that has seen such phenomenal growth in size and reputation over the last number of years. I’m looking forward to new career challenges and to seeing what the future holds for the wonderful world of English and Welsh wines.”


Contact details for Phoebe French: / 07591 588328 – please do contact for any future news bids.

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