Gin Bothy calls for gin protection

Award-winning spirits producer urges Westminster to shield Scotland’s gin industry

Kim Cameron, owner of Gin Bothy, stands in front of a wooden door in a dark green top wearing a Gin Bothy branded black apron.
Gin Bothy owner Kim Cameron has called on governments across the UK to protect Scottish gin with GI status.

SCOTTISH gin producer Kim Cameron, owner of Gin Bothy, has pushed the UK Government to protect Scotland’s gin industry with Geographical Indication (GI) status.

Cameron, who is preparing to celebrate her business’ tenth year in trading, met with MSPs, MPs, Lords and other political figures across Holyrood, Westminster and the House of Lords to make the case for GI protection for Scottish gin.

The gin maker cited Trade Financial Global studies which found that gin sits alongside Scottish whisky as one of Scotland’s leading food and drink exports.

A further study by chartered accountancy firm Hazlewoods showed whisky and gin trade in the UK enjoyed a 13% growth in 2023, reaching a total worth of £9.4billion.

As such, Cameron has argued that Scottish gin should be awarded the same protection as whisky with protected GI status in both the UK and the EU. Scottish whisky is only one of 14 UK products that has both UK GI status as well as EU GI status.

The UK Government’s UK GI scheme states ‘GI protection guarantees a product’s characteristics or reputation, authenticity and origin. It protects the product name from misuse or imitation’.

The Gin Bothy brand is headed for Hollywood next month as it will be included in Oscar nominees’ Goodie Bags.

And the Gin Bothy owner believes this protection will prevent the exploitation of the Scottish brand for spirit makers who value locally sourced and produced gin.

This comes as the Gin Bothy brand is set for the glitzy Hollywood stage as the firm was selected to provide bespoke bottles of gin in the ‘Everybody Wins’ Goodie Bags for the top 25 Oscar nominees.

Cameron said: “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.

“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.

“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.”