South West gin makers to meet Chinese buyers at international trade show

Food & Drink | International | South West

Two of the South West’s most popular gin brands, Cotswold Distillery and Salcombe Gin, are set to bring a taste of the South West to new international buyers at Asia’s largest food innovation exhibition, SIAL China, in Shanghai (14th – 16th May).

One of the biggest food trade shows in the world, SIAL China attracts more than 110,000 visitors and 3,400 exhibitors. Salcombe Gin and Cotswold Distillery will both be in attendance this year, showcasing their range of traditionally made gins at a dedicated Food is GREAT Gin Bar stand in SIAL’s UK Pavilion.

The Food is GREAT campaign is a cross-departmental initiative between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT). The campaign aims to showcase UK food and drink overseas, and to help businesses export.

During the trade show, John Edwards, British Consul-General of Shanghai will give key industry attendees a tour of the UK Pavilion to allow them to get a taste of British produce. The tours will also be live streamed on WeChat, China’s most popular messaging and lifestyle app.

To promote the provenance and high quality of British gin ahead of the show, Defra and DIT also hosted two events where Chinese buyers got the chance to taste-test UK gin and learn how to mix their own cocktails.

The two events took place in Sukhothai Hotel in Shanghai (25th April) and the Beijing Expo (30th April), and featured the semi-finals of a UK gin cocktail competition, where contestants used British gin, including Cotswold Distillery’s, to mix their creations. The competition finalists will battle it out for the winning title at SIAL.

Paul Shand, DIT’s Head of Trade in the South West, said: “The UK is in the midst of a gin boom. In 2018 exports of UK gin hit a record £614m, up 15% on the previous year. Trade shows like SIAL China are a great way for companies to meet potential new buyers face-to-face and showcase their products. It’s encouraging to see brands like Cotswold Distillery maximise their visit to China by taking part in our two gin tasting events ahead of the show.

“Businesses can increase their sales, growth and stability by selling overseas. You can explore the potential of exporting with guidance, services and support from the Department for International Trade. Along with specialists in 109 countries worldwide, we have a team of local trade advisers who are here to offer their expertise on a range of export matters, including tax and language.”

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