What can the wine trade learn from Team GB's success?
As has been exhaustively reported, Team GB's performance in the 2016 Rio Olympic games was its best ever. As this BBC article says:
Yet "only 20 years ago, GB were languishing 36th in the Atlanta Olympics medal table, their entire team securing only a single gold between them." Indeed, this meteoric rise caused some competing nations to question how it was possible that Team GB have become so successful.
The answer is ostensibly simple: money. Through National Lottery funding, the amount given to sport increased dramatically. Hundreds of millions has been spent on elite athletes to support their training and give them the best chance of becoming the best in the world. This even extended to customising the bedrooms for the boxing team, to ensure they had the optimal amount of sleep.
Earlier this month, a minor kerfuffle erupted when the Wine Institute of California closed its UK office. At first it seemed that funding was going to be cut severely, but an announcement was soon made stating that spending on the promotion of Californian wine actually going to increase within the UK, to reassure the trade that support was not going to lapse.
It's hardly a revelation that money makes a difference, but it is a timely reminder that investment is critical to help an industry succeed. There is a lot of negative pressure on the UK wine industry currently - unfavourable exchange rates, declining consumption, anti-alcohol health lobbying - so maintaining good levels of funding is vital to overcome such adversity and ensure that we all prosper.