L-R Prof Alan Wolstenholme (SCDA Chair), Hannah Dobson (SF&D), Liam Hughes (Glasgow Distillery and SCDA Vice-Chair)
The Scottish Craft Distillers Association (SCDA) and Scotland Food & Drink have joined forces to form a new alliance signifying the growth potential of the Scottish distilling sector, and reflecting a commitment to protect the authenticity of Scottish craft spirits.
Established in 2014, the Scottish Craft Distillers Association supports its members across collaborative promotion of products and sharing innovative production solutions.
It also offers its members a free accreditation scheme, which comes at a time when drinkers are seeking firm assurances before buying products.
There is a strict set of criteria that a business must meet to be part of the association and to receive the SCDA accreditation; distillers must own and operate a still as well as manufacture and bottle in Scotland.
These stringent rules are in place to protect Scottish craft distillers from those who use Scotland's provenance and heritage to sell their products but, in reality, are manufacturing elsewhere.
Through this new alliance, SCDA members will automatically become members of Scotland Food & Drink and gain access to the network of contacts the organisation has, including buyers in retail and food service, industry intelligence experts and dedicated business development support.
Professor Alan Wolstenholme, chair of the Scottish Craft Distillers Association, said: "On behalf of the Scottish Craft Distillers Association's committee, I am delighted to have joined forces with Scotland Food & Drink. This alliance will allow us to continue the work that the SCDA has started on protecting the Scottish brand for distillers across the country.
"Ultimately, we are run by our members for our members and with the support of the Scotland Food & Drink team, we are working on a plan to maximise opportunities for the sector."
Liam Hughes, deputy chair and owner of Glasgow Distillery Co, said: "This is an exciting new phase for the Scottish Craft Distillers Association, the sector is booming and consumer interest is at an all-time high. We have worked hard over the last four years to build the sector and this alliance will allow us to step up our activities.
"Our members are at the heart of the association and if you are a Scottish distiller who wants to be recognised as having a truly authentic Scottish craft spirit, I implore to join the association and apply for accreditation."
Rachel Athey, director of Scotland Food & Drink, said: "The Scottish food and drink sector is thriving and due to this success, more and more businesses are capitalising on Scotland's brand. The public show no signs of growing tired of spirits, in particular gin, so it is important that we protect the producers who work hard to produce an authentic product.
"Our new alliance with the SCDA means that members now automatically become members of Scotland Food & Drink. This gives distillers access to SF&D's experts with the additional benefit of specific sector insight, activity and priorities."