Fair Trade Agreement to Enhance Local Spirit Industry

The United Kingdom/New Zealand Fair Trade Agreement will support the continued growth of the New Zealand spirits industry while offering important opportunities for imported products.

“The New Zealand spirits industry, while still small, has grown almost exponentially in the last 10 to 15 years,” said Spirits New Zealand Chief Executive, Robert Brewer.

Fifteen years ago, only a handful of truly commercial distilleries existed in New Zealand. Today there are almost 130.

“The impact of this growth is typified by the growth in the NZ gin market – up almost 460 percent since 2013,” said Brewer.

“Almost all producers are looking offshore, and the United Kingdom Fair Trade Agreement will only make it easier to access a large and consumer-savvy market.”

The agreement also provides more opportunities for imported products, with import duties on gin and other products from the United Kingdom disappearing.

A clause in the Spirits and Wine Annex attached to the agreement is of particular importance, which allows for developing a specific food standard for whisky.

A properly designed standard will protect imported products from the United Kingdom and standardise the production specifications for New Zealand whisky, which will only help with its marketing offshore.