The Scottish Distillers Association wants the makers of spirits in Scotland to sign up to a new accreditation scheme, that will have strict criteria, to ensure that any product bearing their logo is recognised as being produced in Scotland.
In the past year, The Scottish Gin Society has worked tirelessly to bring this issue to the fore including conducting professional market research with industry stakeholders.
Our A-Z of Scottish Gins is a comprehensive and bang up-to-date guide to which gins are distilled in Scotland, or blended in Scotland or actually made elsewhere.
For us it’s important that all Scottish-produced spirits enjoy the same protection as Scottish whisky currently does – it can only be labelled as such if it is made in Scotland. And, most importantly, the consumer is kept properly informed.
As part of their relaunch, the Scottish Distillers Association (previously The Scottish Craft Distillers Association) has created an accreditation and “quality marque” scheme.
Any distiller in Scotland can apply but they must meet five strict criteria:
- Own and operate a still in Scotland
- Have a skilled and qualified named individual responsible for quality
- Distil and bottle spirits in Scotland
- Make reasonable claims in the place naming of spirits
- Operate with an HMRC licence and in accordance with the Trades Description Act, Advertising Standards Authority and responsible drinking guidelines.
Alan Wolstenholme, chairman of the Scottish Distillers Association, said:
“We are asking for distillers to make reasonable claims around the location where their products are made. We believe that this is essential to protect the incredible global reputation we have in Scotland for producing premium quality spirits.”
Liam Hughes, founder of the Glasgow Distillery Company and Vice Chair of the SDA said in an interview with BBC’s Good Morning Scotland:
“What we are trying to do is to ensure that products that are made in Scotland are accredited and that consumers have complete confidence and belief in terms of what they are buying and the providence in terms of that product and where it is made.
“The Scotch Whisky Association do a fantastic job and have done for years. What we would like the Scottish Distillers Association to do is to encompass the other spirits made in Scotland – whether that’s gin, vodka, rum, or even absinthe – and protect those in law in the same way that Scotch whisky is protected. It’s about transparency and honesty in terms of the products that are made and where they are being made.”
Stephen White, Founder of the Scottish Gin Society comments: “At the Scottish Gin Society, we have been at the forefront of the debate over what is truly a Scottish Gin.
“We welcome the announcement of the newly formed Scottish Distillers Association and look forward to continuing to work closely with both the SDA and Scotland Food & Drink to promote ‘Scottish Gin The Brand’.