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British Gin Better In


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WSTA CEO Miles Beale met Exchequer Secretary Damian Hinds at Beefeater to discuss why losing access to the EU single market would hit gin exports.

The British gin boom continues to fizz as global exports have increased 46% since 2010 totalling over £2 billion.

The UK exports gin to 139 countries and 45% of that goes to the 27 countries in the EU, worth £189 million last year.

UK gin exports to non EU countries reached £231 million in 2015.

In May gin makers heard how the spirit will benefit from staying in the EU when it comes to quality and exports, according to an industry expert.

Seven of the top ten gin export markets for value are EU markets. The other three countries featured are US, Canada and Australia.

Speaking at the 2016 Ginposium Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, told gin makers how the spirit is a “significant beneficiary” of EU rules.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said:

“The great tradition of British gin making is protected by the EU which defines how gin is made, giving it that distinctly British flavour.

“EU regulations covering gin - like the gin laws that followed the Hogarth ‘gin alley’, mother ruining era – are a force for good and have provided a springboard for the success of British gin.

“Quality, Britishness and flexibility have led to an explosion of new and exciting gins on the market. Thanks to the resurgence in cocktail making and a sprinkling of the Downton Abbey effect British gin is now a global phenomenon.”

His speech came after he spent the morning with Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Damian Hinds touring Chivas Brothers’ Beefeater distillery to discuss the risks to gin if Britain left the EU.

In a survey of WSTA members 90% of those who responded, supported the UK’s continued membership of the EU, 2% were in favour of the UK leaving and the remainder (8%) were undecided or impartial.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Damian Hinds said:

“The UK’s gin industry is undergoing a remarkable renaissance with the rest of the world developing a taste for our world-leading gin. The message from industry voices and famous gin makers like Beefeater is clear; leaving the EU would hit exports hard and could apply the brakes to the gin boom. I believe that gin like the rest of our spirits industry will be stronger, safer and better off within a reformed EU.”

The mass gin gathering brought together the world’s most respected personalities and experts in the gin trade at the seminar in Covent Garden on Thursday (May 12th).

In 2005 the UK exported gin worth £193 million, in 2010 export sales reached £288 million and last year peaked at £421 million.

The gin boom saw a multi-record breaking year in 2015 with 49 new distilleries opening across the country and consumers spending more on gin than ever before.

Behind the scenes the craft of gin making is spreading across the country with 117 new distilleries setting up in the last five years.

In total the duty on spirits in the last year (April 2015 – March 2016) following a 2% cut has increased by £124m up 4.1% year on year.


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