New EU restrictions could affect British wine industry

Britain's growing wine industry now produces more than 3.3 million bottles of wine per year. Last year's hot summer resulted in a boom in wine production and as climate change continues, experts say the soil and climate in South-East England have become very similar to those of the Champagne district in France.The EU now wants to limit the planting of new vineyards for the next six years.(Daily Mail, 30 October 2007).

A House of Lords committee report accuses the EU of 'economic nonsense' in imposing an 'artificial planting ban', when it had allowed the EU wine lake to swell by subsidising other countries.(European Union 39th Report: European Wine – A Better Deal for All, printed 23 October 2007)

A source close to the House of Lords committee said:    'The proposals by Brussels on new plantings will stifle the British wine industry, which is currently enjoying a boom.' (Daily Mail, 23 October 2007)

The House of Lords report said: 'It would plainly be economic nonsense to impose an artificial planting ban on a member state whose vineyards can sell all their produce and have no need of EU subsidies.'

This debate highlights how external factors can have an impact on a company or industry and may affect its ability to achieve its business plan.

The Times 100 case study on McCain Foods gives an example of how use of a SLEPT analysis helps a company respond to changes in its external environment.


Daily Mail – Is Brussels trying to put a cork in our wine industry?, 29 October 2007

House of Lords – European Union 39th Report: European Wine – A Better Deal for All

The Times 100 Case Studies – McCain, How Mccain responds to changes in the external environment

Potential Study Questions:

         What factors are represented in the acronym SLEPT?

         Assess how the application of a SLEPT analysis might help a developing British vineyard in the light of the new EU restriction.