Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

'No reason' UK gin exports can't match Scotch whisky's £4 billion says environment secretary

Published:  10 August, 2015

The environment secretary Elizabeth Truss has said the UK government has ambitions to help the gin industry match the UK's whisky exports, which topped £4 billion in 2014.

Truss outlined ways the government hoped to help producers contribute to the goal on visits to the Beefeater and Sipsmith distilleries in London today.

They include: the 2% UK duty cut outlined in the March Budget; serving British gin at major overseas embassies; the appointment of Karen Morgan as the UK's first ever food counsellor in China; releasing data to support small businesses, including satellite imagery that could be used to pinpoint the purest water sources for distillation; and a 25-year plan to boost productivity and growth in the food and drink sectors.

Truss said: "There is a huge opportunity for British gin makers to export more of our first-class products across the globe.

"Traditional distillers like Beefeater trade on the proud history of this quintessentially British drink and it's fantastic to also see innovators like Sipsmith, pioneering new techniques and contributing to British gin being enjoyed worldwide.

"This is fertile ground with enormous opportunities. There is absolutely no reason why our gin trade can't be as successful as whisky, which made £4 billion for our economy last year.

"I want to harness the ambition of our gin-trepreneurs and see them match that in years to come, helping us and building a stronger one nation economy for the UK.

"We will continue to unleash the creative spirit of our food and drink entrepreneurs by giving them the freedom, the technology, the research and the people to think big, take risks and build profitable businesses."

Exports of gin from the UK were worth £394 million in 2014, up from £288.4 million in 2010. The government is targeting growing markets such as India, Brazil and the Far East for further export opportunities.

IWSR figures show that the number of UK gin brands has more than doubled since 2010, from 31 to 73.

Sam Galsworthy, co-founder of Sipsmith, said: "Having inherited 200 years of gin distilling history, we wanted this to be reflected at every stage in the development of our gin, but it is important that as an industry we constantly evolve and innovate to ensure that we create new and unique recipes that are loved the world over.

"In this way, we embrace the old ways while harnessing the new which makes for a potent and characterful combination".

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, said: "This is an extremely exciting time for all the UK gin industry. We have seen an explosion in British gin production with the latest figures showing that an astounding 56 distilleries have sprung up in just two years. British gin has a strong, vibrant history and its renaissance continues to go from strength to strength."