Isle of Harris Distillers is looking to strengthen its growth in the Australian market thanks to a newly announced trade deal.
Tariffs on all products going to Australia, which currently sits at five per cent, are due to be removed under the UK-Australia free trade agreement (FTA).
The deal will see the reduction of tariffs on 100% of UK goods exports to zero, benefitting the 825 businesses in Scotland that already exported £333 million worth of goods to Australia in 2021.
Isle of Harris Distillers managing director Simon Erlanger believes the move will lead to more sales and boost its brand Down Under.
The company produces Isle of Harris gin at its Tarbert-based factory.
Eliminating tariffs makes gin easier to sell
Mr Erlanger said: “Australia is already one of our larger markets, so we’ve been keen to grow our business there as much as possible.
“That’s exactly what the free trade agreement between the UK and Australia allows us to do. By eliminating tariffs it makes our gin easier to sell, and we’re keen to make the most of this over the coming year.
“We know that there’s a huge market down under for high quality gin such as ours, and we look forward to more Australians being able to enjoy a refreshing Isle of Harris Gin in their G&T in 2023 and beyond.”
Effects of Brexit and Covid-19
Government figures published last year showed exports of British gin remain below pre-pandemic levels after the double whammy of Covid-19 and Brexit hit the industry.
Data from HMRC shows that the total value of UK gin exports in 2021 was £541.5 million – a fall of around 20 per cent since 2019.
Exports to the EU have taken one of the largest hits – they reached £228 million in 2021, down by more than a quarter since 2019.
In 2021, the UK exported £21.3 million of gin to Australia – less than a tenth of what was sent to the EU.
The UK-Australia deal is the first new trade deal the UK has negotiated from scratch since Brexit.
It is expected to increase trade with Australia by 53%, boost the UK economy by £2.3 billion and add £900 million to household wages in the long run.
It will also ensure food and drink products exit customs quickly, so businesses can have certainty and ship with ease when exporting products to Australia.
Trade deal provides opportunity for businesses
Trade secretary Kemi Badenoch said: “Aussies can look forward to enjoying tariff-free British gin and tonics, made by fantastic exporters like Isle of Harris and Fever-Tree, next Christmas and New Year.”
Isle of Harris Distillers have been exporting their award-winning gin to Australia since 2016.
They currently export to 23 markets, with their first pallets having just arrived in China.
Last month it was announced a £10 million funding package had been secured to boost international expansion plans.
The finance from HSBC UK will be used to widen the company’s distribution of Isle of Harris Gin and, when launched, its Hearach malt whisky to more than 20 international markets including the US, Canada, France and Germany.