Calls for more British gin at diplomatic events overseas

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) and UK ambassadors are calling for more British gin to be served at diplomatic service receptions overseas.

The WSTA has partnered with the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) to persuade dignitaries to only serve drinks made in the UK at this year’s annual reception for oversees diplomats.

According to a survey quoted by the WSTA, the biggest issue for diplomats trying to serve British drinks at events is a lack of “availability”.

Sir Simon McDonald, the UK’s top diplomat at the head of the FCO, said: “I am delighted the WSTA once again supported our event – our home-grown spirits and wine sector is flourishing but I would like us to be able to do more.

“Our wine and gin exports are increasingly prestigious, and are now respectively the UK’s fifth and sixth largest food and drink exports by value.

“By serving English wine and British gin at our embassies and missions wherever possible, we can help promote the sector and create more jobs and growth.”

This is the fourth year that the WSTA has arranged for English wine and British gin to be served at the annual celebration.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, said: “It was encouraging to hear that more home-grown wine and spirits are being served at British diplomatic service receptions – both home and abroad – since the WSTA began showcasing a range of English sparkling wines and British gins at the FCO’s annual London reception.

“But the strong message coming back to us is that whilst the will is there to serve British, it’s not always that easy to get products to far away locations. The WSTA has pledged to continue helping to bridge the gap between demand and supply – not least because of our wine and spirit producers need support to achieve their full potential, especially in export markets.

“With all the current challenges to international trade, it is even more crucial that our ambassadors and high commissioners are flying the flag for our quality British gin and English wine and raising the profile for brand Britain’s premium products.”

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