WSTA Logo

Jumping Junipers, if Doomsday Brexit is on the horizon the gin could run dry!

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association warns if Brexit ‘doomsday’ dawns Britain could be faced with a gin drought. 

The Government has drawn up a scenario for a no-deal Brexit said to paint a frightening picture of food and ingredient shortages – if the worst-case scenario becomes a reality this could lead to a juniper shortage.

British distillers rely on tonnes of juniper and other botanicals being shipped to the UK each year, predominantly from the Mediterranean.

Other commonly used botanicals found in gin include orange and lemon peels, liquorice, orris root and angelica root – all of which are generally imported. 

If the ports collapse and goods can’t get through some of the UK’s smaller craft gin distillers will be facing extremely testing times.

The gin boom has seen a huge rise in the number of start-ups and distilleries making the juniper based spirit. Britain now boasts 315 distilleries in the UK – more than double the number that were operating across the country five years ago. 

The WSTA’s latest market report released this week shows UK sales of gin have hit yet another record high. 

In the 12 months to the end of March 2018 almost 55 million bottles of gin, worth almost £1.5 billion – up 28% in volume on the same period last year and 33% in value.

This of course is just one example of the headaches facing the wine and spirit industry, a trade which relies on the smooth transition of goods across borders.

Wine businesses face similar nightmare scenarios. 99% of the wine sold in the UK is imported and if stock cannot get in this will lead to depleted supermarket shelves and higher prices for consumers.

The UK wine trade is worth £19.9 billion in economic activity. We imported just under 1.8 billion bottles into Britain in 2017, 900 million of those bottles - 50% - come from the EU. 

The dilemma facing wine trade is they need to have a contingency to double their wine stocks, which means finding extra warehouse space and cash flow, at a time when banks are being more cautious lending to British businesses.  

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

“The British gin industry is a great example of a booming trade that could be severely hampered if the so called ‘Brexit Armageddon’ scenario strikes. Doomsday Brexit could have a catastrophic impact, certainly on some of the smaller gin distillers, who are likely not to have the capacity to buy in and store reserves to make their products. This could lead to a shortage or even wipe out your favourite craft gin. The whole of the UK wine and spirit trade relies on the frictionless movement of goods in and out of the UK. We have been warning our members to prepare for the worst for the last 18 months. Government seem to have only just woken up to facing the bleakest outcome.

The harsh reality is that Armageddon risks companies going under, jobs being lost and consumers facing price hikes. So, Parliament needs to debate and pass the EU withdrawal bill and the government needs to get on with negotiating a successful trade deal with the EU that can be delivered in time for the end of the transition period. Businesses in our industry need a frictionless, fudge-free fix – and they need it fast.”

Dan Szor, Founder of the Cotswolds Distillery, said:

“If we are faced with a trade dead-stop at customs it is going to cause chaos at UK ports. Businesses like mine will find it very tough. We need clarity from government so that we can start to make a plan. At Cotswolds Distillery we rely on juniper berries from Macedonia - and it comes into the UK via Calais. without juniper there is no gin. Juniper grows wild and the success of the harvest is very much weather dependent, if we have a bad season and distillers are being forced to stockpile and I can see a juniper war kicking off. It’s not just SME’s like ours that will suffer the situation isn’t resolved it’s all millions of gin lovers who might not be able to get hold of their favourite tipple if juniper is in short supply.”\

Cathy Caton, one of the founders of Brighton Gin, said:

"We are a small-scale producer where every single element of our production is done by hand - our recipe is measured out in grammes rather than kilos!  We neither have the purchasing power of the big producers and nor the storage space to stockpile juniper.   We are already noticing supply issues and are guessing that the bigger players are buying up stocks to secure them - something we're not in a financial or physical position to do."

In November 2016 the WSTA published their Brexit policy paper - ‘The road ahead for the wine and spirit industry’ – drawn up to establish how best to meet and exploit the challenges of leaving the EU.

Since then we have been warning WSTA membership, at a series of Brexit briefings, workshops and Brexit risk map to have a contingency plan. 

Advising to prepare for stockpiling and storing goods, ingredients and equipment

Booking slots on Eurostar 

Prepare and know how to report bootlegging and fake booze coming onto the black market

Last year the WSTA highlighted importers and exporters concerns that if no resolution on leaving the customs union would see more than double the volume of cargo subject to inspection at British ports.

All ports’ operations are designed around the “just in time” principle, so there isn’t the capacity for hold ups. 

If Brexit talks don’t achieve frictionless borders ingredients will be held up in transit, bootleg booze could flood Britain and the roads into UK ports will become a lorry park.

 

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association warns if Brexit ‘doomsday’ dawns Britain could be faced with a gin drought.

The Government has drawn up a scenario for a no-deal Brexit said to paint a frightening picture of food and ingredient shortages – if the worst-case scenario becomes a reality this could lead to a juniper shortage.

British distillers rely on tonnes of juniper and other botanicals being shipped to the UK each year, predominantly from the Mediterranean.

Other commonly used botanicals found in gin include orange and lemon peels, liquorice, orris root and angelica root – all of which are generally imported.

If the ports collapse and goods can’t get through some of the UK’s smaller craft gin distillers will be facing extremely testing times.

The gin boom has seen a huge rise in the number of start-ups and distilleries making the juniper based spirit. Britain now boasts 315 distilleries in the UK – more than double the number that were operating across the country five years ago.

The WSTA’s latest market report released this week shows UK sales of gin have hit yet another record high.

In the 12 months to the end of March 2018 almost 55 million bottles of gin, worth almost £1.5 billion – up 28% in volume on the same period last year and 33% in value.

This of course is just one example of the headaches facing the wine and spirit industry, a trade which relies on the smooth transition of goods across borders.

Wine businesses face similar nightmare scenarios. 99% of the wine sold in the UK is imported and if stock cannot get in this will lead to depleted supermarket shelves and higher prices for consumers.

The UK wine trade is worth £19.9 billion in economic activity. We imported just under 1.8 billion bottles into Britain in 2017, 900 million of those bottles - 50% - come from the EU.

 

The dilemma facing wine trade is they need to have a contingency to double their wine stocks, which means finding extra warehouse space and cash flow, at a time when banks are being more cautious lending to British businesses. 

Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said:

“The British gin industry is a great example of a booming trade that could be severely hampered if the so called ‘Brexit Armageddon’ scenario strikes. Doomsday Brexit could have a catastrophic impact, certainly on some of the smaller gin distillers, who are likely not to have the capacity to buy in and store reserves to make their products. This could lead to a shortage or even wipe out your favourite craft gin. The whole of the UK wine and spirit trade relies on the frictionless movement of goods in and out of the UK. We have been warning our members to prepare for the worst for the last 18 months. Government seem to have only just woken up to facing the bleakest outcome.

The harsh reality is that Armageddon risks companies going under, jobs being lost and consumers facing price hikes. So, Parliament needs to debate and pass the EU withdrawal bill and the government needs to get on with negotiating a successful trade deal with the EU that can be delivered in time for the end of the transition period. Businesses in our industry need a frictionless, fudge-free fix – and they need it fast.”

 

Dan Szor, Founder of the Cotswolds Distillery, said:

“If we are faced with a trade dead-stop at customs it is going to cause chaos at UK ports. Businesses like mine will find it very tough. We need clarity from government so that we can start to make a plan. At Cotswolds Distillery we rely on juniper berries from Macedonia - and it comes into the UK via Calais. without juniper there is no gin. Juniper grows wild and the success of the harvest is very much weather dependent, if we have a bad season and distillers are being forced to stockpile and I can see a juniper war kicking off. It’s not just SME’s like ours that will suffer the situation isn’t resolved it’s all millions of gin lovers who might not be able to get hold of their favourite tipple if juniper is in short supply.”

 

Cathy Caton, one of the founders of Brighton Gin, said:

 

"We are a small-scale producer where every single element of our production is done by hand - our recipe is measured out in grammes rather than kilos!  We neither have the purchasing power of the big producers and nor the storage space to stockpile juniper.   We are already noticing supply issues and are guessing that the bigger players are buying up stocks to secure them - something we're not in a financial or physical position to do."

In November 2016 the WSTA published their Brexit policy paper - ‘The road ahead for the wine and spirit industry’ – drawn up to establish how best to meet and exploit the challenges of leaving the EU.

Since then we have been warning WSTA membership, at a series of Brexit briefings, workshops and Brexit risk map to have a contingency plan.

·         Advising to prepare for stockpiling and storing goods, ingredients and equipment

·         Booking slots on Eurostar

·         Prepare and know how to report bootlegging and fake booze coming onto the black market

Last year the WSTA highlighted importers and exporters concerns that if no resolution on leaving the customs union would see more than double the volume of cargo subject to inspection at British ports.

All ports’ operations are designed around the “just in time” principle, so there isn’t the capacity for hold ups.

If Brexit talks don’t achieve frictionless borders ingredients will be held up in transit, bootleg booze could flood Britain and the roads into UK ports will become a lorry park.


Gin proves it’s still a sparkling success on World Gin Day

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s latest market report released on World Gin Day (Saturday) shows that gin sold in the UK has hit yet another record high.


For the first time ever quarterly combined value sales of gin in our supermarkets, shops, pubs bars and restaurants has grown by more than 40% - with sales increasing by 44% compared to the same three months the year before.


In fact, across the board gin sales in the UK have beaten all records both annually and quarterly.


The WSTA’s latest Market Report, published this week shows that in the 12 months to the end of March 2018 almost 55 million bottles of gin, worth almost £1.5 billion, were sold in the UK, up 28% in volume and 33% in value.


During the same 12 month sales period, ending March 2013 gin sales were worth just £696 million, meaning gin sales in the UK have more than doubled in value in just five years.


The rapid growth in UK distilleries and an increasing number of gin brands launched to market has helped gin sales hit a peak in the first three months of 2018.


Dry January did not put a damper on Brits thirst for the juniper based spirit and gin sales were also boosted by Mother’s Day. A wide range of gin themed gifts - including gin mugs, t-shirts, grow your own botanical kits and gin glass wear – helped, what was once dubbed mother’s ruin, become a popular gift choice.


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


“Britain’s thirst for gin shows no sign of waning as we can see from yet another round of record breaking gin sales. Hats off to our skillful and innovative British distillers who keep coming up with interesting botanical blends to create new award-winning gins that are proving very attractive to consumers who have increasingly sophisticated palates. There is no better day to raise a glass of G&T and toast the success of British gin than World Gin Day.”


This year there are more events than ever taking place across the length and breadth of Britain to mark World Gin Day.


The celebrations include gin mixed with dancing, music, cooking and travel. Gin lovers can take part in a Gin & Jazz Garden party in Staines, learn to make gin infused hand-raised game pie in Sheffield, the Ginchester Fete in Winchester, a gin train in the Yorkshire Dales and a Gin & Swing evening in Derby.


Last year an IWSR Forecast Report projected that gin is expected to grow by 37.2% by 2021.


2017 was also a bumper year for British gin exports which broke the £500 million barrier hitting £530 million in value sales.


Britain now boasts 315 distilleries in the UK – more than double the number that were operating across the country five years ago.


There are now well over 100 British gin brands on the market - it is hard to put an exact number on it as new gins come on the market so frequently. What we do know is that the number of gins now available in Britain has more than doubled since 2011.

 

WSTA crackdown on fake booze

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association have joined forces with Crimestoppers in a crackdown on criminals pedaling fake booze.

Today marks the launch of a new video explaining how to report and bring to justice the modern-day moonshiners whose hooky hooch can threaten people’s lives.

The aim is to make the public aware of fake alcohol and the effects it can have on consumers’ health as well as highlighting how fakers put lives as risk with dodgy alcohol factories.

The WSTA and Crimestoppers have teamed up to provide a dedicated alcohol fraud line for use by members of the public they can also report online, if they have bought illegal booze or suspect it is being sold.  Call 0800 234 6388, or go to www.alcoholfraudline.com 100% anonymously. Always. Speak up. Stay Safe.

Information can be given anonymously and will help the authorities crack down on the criminals who are selling fake booze, often to fund serious organised crime including drugs and people trafficking.

Producers of fake products are not just cheating the system – their alcohol can contain a cocktail of dangerously toxic chemicals. 

The side effects from illicit or counterfeit alcohol can leave drinkers bed bound for days, suffering black outs, blurred vision and even short-term sight loss.

So far reports to the alcohol fraud line have uncovered a number of independent stores selling alcohol under the counter without a licence, smugglers bring alcohol and drugs into the UK, criminals pedaling fake alcohol brands, brothels trading booze without a licence and fake booze being sold in social clubs.

Some fake booze has been found to contain a cocktail of anti-freeze, nail varnish remover, cleaning fluid and industrial spirits, amongst other things.

These toxic products are significantly cheaper than ethanol and can increase the strength of the drink, but are a serious danger to health.

The problem is significant, as shown by the HMRC seizing 50 million litres of illicit alcohol in the UK.

According to the Institute of Economic Affairs the UK is estimated to lose out on £1.2 billion per tax year due to illicit alcohol. 

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

“The sale of illicit alcohol puts lives at risk and allows criminals to profit while costing the UK over £1 billion each year according to HMRC. Working with Crimestoppers the Wine and Spirit Trade Association is determined to help clean up the black market for counterfeit alcohol and to spread the word we have put together a new video explaining how to spot fake booze. Although most alcohol retailers are legitimate we urge the public not to take a risk to save a few quid - and to report anything they suspect is fake alcohol to the Crimestoppers alcohol fraud line.”

If you have any information, please contact The Alcohol Fraud Line 100% anonymously on 0800 234 6388 or through the non-traceable Anonymous online form at www.alcoholfraudline.com

The Alcohol Fraud video is available to view here: - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PT_QLWqLg0&feature=youtu.be

Scotland celebrates the success of the gin boom

Scotland boasts a record number of gin distilleries reaching from Berwick to the Shetland Isles with over 50 Scottish gin brands available on the market.

In 2017 HMRC recorded 20 new distillery openings in Scotland taking the total number of Scottish distilleries up to 149, a 63% increase in five years.

The recent boom in gin distilleries means that over a third of Scotland’s 149 distilleries are now producing gin.

To celebrate the phenomenal success of the Scottish gin industry the Wine and Spirit Trade Association arranged a reception in the Scottish Parliament and published a new WSTA Scotland Gin Trail for the event.

Sponsored by Christina McKelvie MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, and in the week of World Gin Day (Sat 9 June), the event welcomed MSPs to learn more about Scotland’s rich gin history and meet the people behind the brands.

The WSTA Scotland Gin Trail, first launched back in 2016, has been updated to reflect the rapid rise in distilleries and now includes 54 gin makers across the length and breadth of Scotland.

With many of the gin producers making more than one type of gin the number of Scottish gin brands is believed to have climbed to around 140.

Some of Scotland’s finest gin and spirit makers took part in a tasting showcase for MSP’s at a reception in Holyrood on Wednesday evening.

These included gins infused with homegrown botanicals including bladderwrack seaweed, rowan berry, bog myrtle, garden mint and plum.

 Spirit sales in Scotland were worth almost £1.2bn last year, £150 million of that came from gin sales.

In a recent YouGov poll gin came out top of Scotland’s most popular spirit drink ahead of vodka and Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

At the end of last year the UK’s first gin spa opened in Glasgow. This was followed by one Scottish gin distiller attracting two investment offers in the Dragon’s Den, for his pitch to open a new distillery and restaurant.

The “ginaissance” shows no signs of slowing, in 2017 UK gin exports grew to an all-time high, worth £530 million.

Commenting on the event, SNP MSP Christina McKelvie said:

“I was delighted to host an evening of Scottish gin and spirits in the Scottish Parliament, celebrating the fantastic growth of gin production in Scotland. Across the country, we are seeing the real positive impact of Scotland’s ‘ginaissance’ - with sales of gin increasing. With over 20 new distillery’s opening in Scotland alone in 2017, contributing £1.2bn to the economy, the spirit industry continues to provide employment and enterprise for my constituents.”

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

“Over the past five years the UK has been in the grip of what has been dubbed a ‘ginaissance’ - with sales of gin increasing at a rate of 20% a year throughout the UK. Scotland has played a central role in the gin boom and the rapid rise in the number of Scottish gin distilleries and brands has provided a welcome boost to the local economy, bringing in more jobs and encouraging tourism. The updated WSTA Scotland Gin Trail includes even more destinations where visitors can learn about the innovations and traditions behind some of the world’s best quality gins and most iconic gin brands.

We are extremely pleased to be able to showcase some of the best Scottish gin producers at Holyrood to share the successes of the Scottish gin industry first hand with MSP’s and allow them to learn more about this exciting industry.”

To find out more about the Scottish gin industry read the WSTA blog click here .To download a copy of the updated WSTA Scotland Gin Trail click here .

WSTA Brexit debate ~ a year on and a year out ~ at the London Wine Fair

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) is hosting a Brexit debate at this year’s London Wine Fair to help industry prepare for life after leaving the European Union. With less than a year to go, a panel of industry experts will discuss the hot issues for industry including tariffs, regulations and the movement of goods and people; and how businesses and suppliers can plan effectively to minimise disruption and prepare for change. 

The top team of panelists include: Jean-Marie Barillère, President of the Unions des Maisons de Champagne (UMC); Troy Christensen, CEO, Enotria and Coe; Samantha Linter, Managing Director & Winemaker, Bolney Estate; Paul Sorrentino, Vice President & General Manager EMEA, E&J Gallo Winery; and Leendert Vis, Chief Information Office, JF Hillebrand. Representing wine businesses from across the globe, the speakers will discuss the impact of Brexit in terms of both possible setbacks and opportunities.  WSTA Chief Executive, Miles Beale, will introduce and moderate the discussion and Q&A; “Brexit; the latest” will take place at 10.30am on Monday, 21st May in the London Room at Olympia. 

Commenting on the debate, Miles Beale said:

“With less than a year to go before the UK leaves the EU, the government appears to be making progress and - at long last - some details of what Brexit really means are beginning to emerge. The WSTA has been vocal in holding the UK Government’s feet to the fire to get what our industry needs.  And so far, so good. But the major hurdles to overcome and decisions to make have yet to be tackled and there is less than a year to achieve it. It is vital that industry is consulted and kept informed in the crucial last months of the countdown to Brexit and the welcome transition period beyond. The London Wine Fair is the perfect place and moment to debate the challenges and opportunities the industry faces; and will help industry to plan for Brexit and the great unknown beyond!”

Hannah Tovey, Head of London Wine Fair, added: “Last year’s Brexit Briefing drew the largest audience in the show’s history.  With the clock ticking, the industry is seeking further clarity and The Fair is well-placed to provide a platform for what is the most impactful political and economic event affecting the drinks trade in years. Whilst the effects of Brexit are already becoming a reality in many sectors, the need for reassurance and knowledge is more relevant than ever before.”

Last year’s inaugural Brexit Debate was standing room only; to reserve a place for this year, please visit:www.londonwinefair.com.

Subcategories

Twitter @wstauk

RT @foodvoices: World’s Top Wine Experts ‘Blown Away’ By English Wine And British Gin. https://t.co/kB8mFc7Cwj @wstauk #Wine #Gin #English…


British gin is a product we should champion, protect and be proud of. We want our talented spirit makers to innovat… https://t.co/LiJTYmhDbV


RT @drinkscharityUK: We are thrilled to invite you to put on your thinking caps and show off your quizzing skills at #BenevolentQuizNight.…

Connect with us