Gin Bothy Owner Calls for Government Protection for Gin Industry

15/02/2024
Kim Cameron UK Parliament

An award-winning Scottish spirits producer has called on the UK Government to move to protect the country’s thriving gin industry. 

Kim Cameron, preparing to celebrate her 10th year as owner of ambitious Angus-based business Gin Bothy, met with key MSPs, MPs, Lords and other political figures at Holyrood, Westminster and House of Lords last week as part of her role on the Scottish Rural Leadership Programme.

Gin sits alongside whisky as one of Scotland’s leading food and drink exports and, according to “Trade Financial Global”.

And Gin Bothy owner Kim Cameron is leading calls to prevent the exploitation of the Scottish brand for spirit makers who value locally sourced and produced gin.

Gin Bothy will reach Hollywood later this month after being selected to appear in the $125,000 “Everybody Wins” Goodie Bags to be handed out to the top 25 Oscar nominees, an achievement recognised in the Scottish and UK Parliaments, in motions submitted by Tess White MSP and Dave Doogan MP.

And it’s hoped greater protections for gin will strengthen trade for the industry.

“There are so many talented gin producers in Scotland but it’s crucial that our work isn’t diluted by brands that are using the Scottish name to enhance their marketing,” said the Gin Bothy owner.

“At the Gin Bothy, for instance, we pride ourselves on our fruit being hand-picked in Scotland. Our original gin that will be handed out to the top 25 Oscar nominees is made from Scottish heather, Scots pine and rosemary. It’s a real taste of Scotland in a bottle and that’s how it should be.

“The danger, with the lack of protection that is currently in place for Scottish gin, is that anyone can stick a label on their gin and claim to be Scottish. A lot of producers or companies would see the benefit of trading off the back of the popularity of Scotland as a brand.

“Brand Scotland is a real asset to our trading capabilities and gin plays a big role in that. Gin is worth a lot of money to our economy and it’s important to tighten up the protection of our brands. 

“ This isn’t something that will happen overnight but, in my role on the Scottish Rural Leadership Programme, it’s important to engage with people who can make a significant difference to the growth of the gin industry.”

The Scottish Rural Leadership Programme, supported by Elevator and led by Scottish Enterprise, offers industry leaders such as Kim the opportunity to engage politically and influence policy.

Kim Cameron is a self-confessed ‘accidental gin-maker’ as she discovered her talent for producing the popular spirit from her bothy kitchen in Angus, when her mum advised her to use leftover fruit juices from her homemade jam in gin. 

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